Snakebite victim given painkiller
An 18-month-old baby who was bitten by a black mamba yesterday died on the way to hospital; the baby had been given only a headache powder at the local clinic.
Bobby Sethoga was bitten by the venomous snake while sleeping with his granny in the Gilead area near Polokwane.
The child's parents work in Gauteng and had left him and two of his siblings with his grandparents.
Police Inspector Noko Rammutla said the 2,7m snake bit the baby on his hand.
Bobby's grandmother, Mokgaetsi Magwai, said his crying woke her up. "I thought he wanted a bottle of milk to calm him down."
Magwai said when she searched for the bottle on the bed she felt "something long and smooth" near the baby.
"I grabbed it and threw it on the floor. It was a snake.
"I immediately grabbed the baby and screamed for help while running out of the house.
"My husband, who was sleeping with me on the same bed, picked up a stick and killed it."
Magwai said she rushed the baby to the Nkidikitlana Clinic, a few kilometres away from the house. "The nurses said they didn't have any medication to treat the venom.
"Instead they gave the baby some Panado and referred us to George Masebe Hospital in Bakenberg. Bobby was certified dead on arrival."
The baby's mother, Shibe Sethoga-Magwai, was still reeling from shock after the death of her son when Sowetan contacted her yesterday.
lElijah Sebola, of the Polokwane Snake Park, said babies or people with TB or asthma usually die "a few minutes" after they are bitten by a mamba - one of South Africa's most dangerous snakes.