South Africa: Deaths After 'Mystery' Drug Passed Around at School Party
Government on Thursday said it was saddened by the deaths of two people and the hospitalisation of 32 more after they consumed an unidentified drug at a party in KwaMashu.
It is believed they took a drug known in the street as "data" or "umgwinyo", which had been passed around at a school break-up party over the weekend.
Acting Cabinet spokesperson Phumla Williams said in a statement that it was unfortunate and should never have happened.
"Everyone has the responsibility to address the issue of drug abuse in our communities, especially amongst our youngsters. Government sends its deepest condolences to the families and friends of those who died and wishes a speedy recovery to those who were admitted to hospital."
KwaMashu residents were urged to help police in their investigation of the case, to ensure the drug dealers were arrested.
Williams encouraged those struggling with drug and alcohol abuse to call social development's toll free number 0800 428 428, or the National Substance Abuse Helpline on 0800 12 13 14.
KwaZulu-Natal police on Wednesday said they were investigating the deaths.
Police spokesperson Major Thulani Zwane said a 19-year-old man collapsed and died during a party in KwaMashu's K section on Saturday. On Sunday, a 29-year-old man was found dead in his room in KwaMashu's E section.
Social Development MEC Weziwe Thusi said they wanted to understand what happened so they could avoid a repeat, and help the families.