Feast nearly killed her

Kamogelo Seekoei

Kamogelo Seekoei

Dianah Mazabane is lucky to be alive.

Mazabane, 26, from Klerksdorp, was one of the guests at the baptismal ceremony hosted by Pastor Peter Tlotleng, of the Anglican Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, in Bekkersdal on February 4.

Scores of guests became ill and four died, thought to have been poisoned by contaminated food.

Tlotleng was baptising his four-month-old son, Tlotlo, and had prepared a feast for his guests.

Mazabane had not been invited to the ceremony, but had joined a group of friends from Mafikeng who were related to the pastor.

Today, as she lies in her hospital bed in Tshepong Hospital recovering from the ordeal, she thanks her lucky stars.

Eighty people were affected by the contaminated food, but only 27, including Mazabane, were admitted to hospital. Four of the 27 have died.

Speaking to Sowetan from her hospital bed, Mazabane recalled how wonderful the ceremony had been, describing the mood as jovial and inviting.

"The meal was well-prepared and really delicious," she said. "It was the kind of food you wouldn't have minded having second helpings of.

"But late in the evening when I got home I realised that something was wrong. I could not sleep. I was vomiting the entire night and had diarrhoea."

Mazabane said she had eaten samp, stew and some salads.

"There was desert and ginger ale, but I did not have any," she said.

Though she looks thin and is dehydrated, she has kept her faith.

"I am grateful to God for my survival. When I learnt of the second death I could not stop praying, I was so afraid."

Her father, Sam Mazabane, said the whole family had been horrified by the incident.

"When I took my daughter to the hospital her tongue was hanging out and her eyes were wide open. I was full of fear for her life."

James Watt, of Tshepong Hospital, confirmed Mazabane's condition and said she was being treated for bacterial meningitis. a life-threatening condition.

"But all the tests that we made are inconclusive.

"We can't be sure that the meningitis was caused by food poisoning," said the doctor.