Student dies of food poisoning

MASERU — A 16-year-old pupil from Phomolong High School in Sekamaneng died on Thursday after allegedly eating food that had been laced with poison.

Toka Joele was declared dead on Thursday night at Tšepong Hospital, a few hours after he had reportedly eaten food he had been given by a schoolmate.

Mampolelo Letsoela, a neighbour told the Lesotho Times that Toka was at her house when she arrived home at around 7pm.

“He opened the gate for me and seemed okay. He was holding a glass of milk,” Letsoela said.

She said he then left a few minutes later for his house saying he wanted to die there.

“I was shocked because I didn’t see anything wrong with him. His younger sister arrived a few minutes later and told us that Toka was dying,” she said.

Letsoela said they then rushed to his home and found him a “in a bad state” as he was bleeding from the mouth.

She said they rushed him to Wilies Hospital from where he was transferred to Tšepong Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit.

The teenager is said to have died 20 minutes later.

Letsoela said a doctor who examined Toka said they suspected food poisoning.

“He told my domestic worker that he had eaten bread spread with margarine but he sensed something awkward about the food while eating,” Letsoela said.

The maid said the deceased had told her that he had been given food by his classmate.

The girl had brought two lunch boxes and offered him one while she ate from the other.

“He said he sensed something irritating on his throat while eating and suspected that he could have eaten poison as the food tasted weird,” Letsoela said.

“He repeatedly told my domestic worker that he could feel that he was going to die on that day.”

Phomolong High School principal, Ralipoli Letsoela, told the Lesotho Times the police were now investigating the matter.

“We received a message on Friday that one of our students had died after a short illness. Police came here on Monday and we are assisting them with their investigations,” Letsoela said.

“His parents told us that he fell ill on Thursday night.”

Letsoela said they had lost a bright student who was committed to his studies and sports.

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