A mother and her four children who died in an alleged poisoning incident in Vaalbank farm near Coligny, in the North West, have been laid to rest.
Nelly Pitso allegedly poisoned herself, her partner and her six children, following an alleged altercation. The family reportedly ingested poison which is used to kill rodents. Her partner, Paul Mere and two of their children survived.
Emotions ran high as dozens of mourners came out to pay their last respects. With cause of this tragic incident still unclear, family and friends are left with more questions than answers.
But for now, relatives of the victims are pleading with government to assist the two surviving children.
“As the family we requested that the children must be taken further and they must take care of them until they complete their degree so that these children complete their degrees and come back to take care of the family. The family as it is in the present moment – is heartbroken because of this,” says family spokesperson, Seaketso Segopolo.
Classmates of one of the deceased children are also finding it difficult to accept that they will never see their friend again.
“We feel so lost because we lost a best friend of mine and we used to eat together when it’s break time,” says one of the learners.
“When I heard that Omphile has died – we were so sad and we were so disappointed. He was a good learner,” added another pupil.
While the provincial Department of Social Development had committed to assist the bereaved family, a concerned community leader lambasted the provincial government for not doing enough to assist the family.
“I am disappointed with government because you can’t bring two hampers in this family and say those hampers will cater for the multitude of people that you see here,” says Coligny Community Leader, Stanny Mnyakama.
“I was with the councillor here; we were asking for donations from outside. I would have expected a leader from government to be here,” adds Mnyakama.
The provincial Social Development Department says the surviving children are receiving trauma counseling.