Outbreak of diarrhoea

Alex Matlala

Alex Matlala

Several people were treated for diarrhoea at clinics after allegedly drinking water from a dam from which police retrieved the body of a farmworker last week.

Farmworkers at an orange farm in Hoedspruit were taken to clinics yesterday complaining of "running stomachs".

The patients said their problems started three days after they had used water from a dam in which the body of fellow farmworker, Mtonyetele Sithole, was found floating.

The water is apparently used for irrigation, cooking and bathing by the farmworkers.

"I started experiencing stomach aches soon after drinking tea made from the dam's water in the morning before going to work.

"When I went home that afternoon, my daughter and a few other farmworkers were also complaining of a similar problem," said a victim who wished to remain anonymous.

Department of health spokesman, Phuti Seloba, was not available for comment, but a nurse at the Hoedspruit Clinic confirmed that they had treated a number of patients from MCA Moria Citrus Farm "for stomach problems".

Sithole's body was found floating in the dam last Wednesday. Farmworkers allege that he was assaulted by a group of white men who found him fishing at the dam.