Gauteng schools hit by 'space cake' trend — 15 pupils hospitalised
A new trend that has resulted in school pupils being hospitalised has prompted authorities to issue warnings against “space cakes”.
These are edible treats containing cannabis or other dangerous substances — generally baked by pupils who sell them to other children — that have been gaining popularity.
Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi on Sunday issued an alert saying he was “concerned with the ongoing trend of learners consuming ‘space cakes’”.
Lesufi said some pupils from Randfontein High School on the West Rand were rushed to hospital on Thursday, while some from Mamellong Secondary School in Tsakane, Ekurhuleni, were hospitalised on Saturday.
According to Lesufi, 11 matric pupils at Randfontein High began feeling sick during school on Thursday. They were rushed to various local medical facilities. Two of them were discharged and sent home while nine were admitted to hospital. One of them was in a critical condition but had since stabilised.
He said it had been determined that all of them had eaten “space cakes” sold to them by a fellow pupil, who was facing suspension for breaking the school’s code of conduct and endangering lives.
Lesufi said another four grade 12 learners from Mamellong Secondary allegedly bought space cakes on their way to classes on Saturday morning. All four fell ill and were hospitalised. All of the pupils were still in hospital, but their conditions were being closely monitored before they could be safely returned to their families.
Lesufi said his department was alarmed by the ongoing tendency of teenagers to try space cakes.
“We urge learners to refrain from purchasing or consuming unknown substances that put their health and lives at risk.”
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