girl, 17, in court over 'poisoning'

McKeed Kotlolo

McKeed Kotlolo

A 17-year-old orphan appeared in court last Thursday on charges of attempted murder after she allegedly spiked milk with rat poison.

The Grade 10 dropout from Volksrus, Mpumalanga, allegedly tried to kill her cousin, 22, the cousin's two-year-old son, her aunt, 40, and the aunt's two grandchildren, aged 6.

The girl was arrested on Tuesday and appeared in the Volksrus magistrate's court. Her case was postponed to June 9.

The teenager allegedly added rat poison to milk that was to be consumed by her family.

Mpumalanga police spokesman Abie Khoabane said: "The girl claimed to have poisoned the family members because they hated her and that she feared they might kill her. She decided to kill them before they killed her.

"The family claimed that the girl was stubborn and would not listen to anyone, so they stopped caring for her. She also had a grudge against her cousin, who occupied her late parents' house. She wanted the house for herself," he said.

Khoabane said the girl claimed she found the poison in the house.

At the time of the poisoning the cousin was not at home and the three children complained to the grandmother that the food was bitter.

When the cousin came back, the aunt told her about the children's complaints. They both tasted the milk, and spotted black particles at the bottom of the container.

Later, all five complained of stomach pains and were taken to hospital where they were diagnosed with food poisoning.

The teenager is being kept at a place of safety until her next court appearance.