School food poisoning: DA lays Human Rights Commission complaint, considers PAIA application

Jacques Smalle MPL

DA Limpopo Provincial Leader:

The DA has today laid a complaint with the Human Rights Commission after hundreds of learners at Mankgane Primary School in Sekhukhune were fed poisonous school food, some meals containing glass, and leading to the hospitalization of many learners last week.

The rights of our learners to nutrition, health and safety are being grossly violated by dangerous food.

This is the fifth incident of poisoning and glass being ingested from food in school feeding schemes in Limpopo.

It is absolutely unacceptable that our learners are still being fed life-threatening food, months after the Education Department promised to resolve the crisis.

In November last year the Department claimed to cancel the contracts of two school feeding scheme suppliers, after hundreds of children took ill and were hospitalized in Sekhukhune. But the problem still exists. Will the Education Department confirm that this latest tragedy isn’t caused by the same suppliers?

It cannot be that the Education Department dishes out multi-million rand food tenders, without proper quality control.

It now appears that the Education Department has investigated this incident, and has compiled a report. The report on the Sekhukhune learner poisoning must be made public, and must be used to hold negligent officials to account.

If the report is not made public, the DA will file a Promotion of Access to Information Act application to uncover the truth. This matter will not be swept under the carpet.

The DA will act upon the findings of the Human Rights Commission, and the Department report, and will hold those responsible to full account.