Deadly home brew claims 6th victim

Canaan Mdletshe

The number of people who have died after drinking an illegal, home-brewed alcoholic concoction has risen to six.

Police said the latest victim, a 36-year-old woman, died yesterday morning at Port Shepstone Hospital.

Her death comes a few days after five people - a woman and four men aged between 30 and 45 - died in Mayigogo on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast.

They died after drinking the concoction on Saturday afternoon. Their bodies were found in their homes the next day.

The victims had complained about severe stomach cramps.

A police spokesman, Gerald Mfeka, called on the community to stop drinking isiqatha because it contained dangerous ingredients - some people brew it from a mixture of battery water and rotten bread.

He said it was cheap but dangerous.

"It's a criminal offence to sell it and it's more dangerous than the traditional Zulu beer."

Leon Mbangwa, spokesman for the provincial department of health, said: "It might not kill you instantly, but as time goes on the pain starts."