Disaster visited a Binga family when four of their family members died and three of them were hospitalised after drinking an’illegal’ alcohol product from South Africa.
The seven, all male, are from Chisawu under Chief Sinamagonde and were resident in Doornfontein, Johannesburg. The group bought the alcohol from a fellow Zimbabwean who resides in Johannesburg and has since disappeared after hearing the news of the death and hospitalisation of his customers.
The men gathered to drink together according to their custom after buying the drink in Booysens last Wednesday. The four were identified as Sumukai Ngwenya, Khumbulani Tshuma, Takoniwa Tshuma and Jealous Tshuma.
In an interview with Sunday News, Ms Takesure Ndlovu, a relative of the deceased said the cause of death has been identified as alcohol poisoning during post mortem.
“It is being said that seven people passed away but that’s not the case. There were many people who drank the alcohol but seven got sick. Out of the seven, three managed to survive. So four passed away and no one else has succumbed to what they drank. These are all people that are members from one family that are related in different ways. When they found alcohol, they gathered each other as family and started drinking because as family you share everything as one people in a foreign place. That’s how they died as members of one family,” she said.
The substance in the alcohol was not yet identified as well as the brand.
“They drank alcohol but we don’t know what was in the alcohol. As it is, we are just fighting to get enough money to have the bodies released and as we speak, we are at a meeting and we have managed to get enough money to get their bodies back home. The person who sold the alcohol to them can’t be found. His phone goes straight to voicemail. We are looking for him because he is also a Zimbabwean just like us. This is what we got from those that were sick before they passed away,” she said.
The bodies of the deceased were repatriated from South Africa to Zimbabwe on Friday evening.