The community of Mokwallo, Vredefort, is under stringent police surveillance following the shocking deaths of two toddlers, which have sparked tensions amid unverified claims surrounding the circumstances of the tragedy.
Vredefort police intensify presence in Mokwallo after deaths of two toddlers
The eerie calm in Vredefort belies the shock and fear that engulfed the community after the abrupt deaths of two young girls aged three and four.
The incident occurred on Tuesday, 17 October 2023, and has since cast a long shadow of anguish across the community, with local authorities now stepping in to maintain order and delve into the heart of the matter.
Unverified reports circulating on social media suggest that the toddlers met their untimely demise after consuming snacks purchased from local Somalian shops in Mokwallo.
The rumours have seemingly fanned the flames of existing tensions between residents and informal traders in the area, necessitating a heavy police presence to prevent potential altercations.
Free State police call for calm amid rising tensions between locals and spaza shopowners
Free State police, spearheaded by the Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant-General Baile Motswenyane, have launched a comprehensive investigation to unravel the truth behind the tragic event.
Police spokesperson Captain Loraine Earle noted in a statement that investigators are meticulously examining the last 24 hours of the children’s lives, especially focusing on their consumption trend, to ascertain the exact cause of death.
Acknowledging the gravity of the situation, Lt-Gen Motswenyane pleaded with the Mokwallo community “not to jump to any conclusions or presumptions which can lead to start pointing fingers without any tangible evidence on hand.”
“We want to assure the community of Mokwallo that as soon as the post-mortem process has been completed and the results thereof proves that any specific person must carry the responsibility for their deaths, that the individual will face the full,” Motswenyane said.
Amid the unfolding investigation, Public Order Police officers are actively monitoring the situation to ensure the safety and peace of the community, with no arrests made at this point.
This tragic incident follows a disturbing pattern where just a fortnight ago, two children from the West Rand tragically lost their lives under similar circumstances – allegedly due to consuming poisonous food from a local taxi rank.
This chain of events has left communities in the region on edge, praying for a resolution to the mystery shrouding these heart-wrenching incidents.