It appears that, while the woman may have taken her own life, she had not intended for the children to die.
According to police spokesperson Brigadier Leonard Hlathi, the 49-year-old woman ate “chicken meat allegedly sprinkled with rat poison” at KwaGuqa near Emalahleni in Mpumalanga on Friday.
She then left the room and her two children – a 6-year-old girl and an 11-year-old boy – ate the same meat.
The mother was discovered in her room. She was already dead.
The children were found by their older brother who rushed them to a nearby clinic. They were certified dead on arrival, said Hlathi.
“Police have registered an inquest, as well as a culpable homicide docket for investigation, as the woman left a note indicating that her family should take care of her children, but unfortunately they also died,” said Hlathi.
Provincial police commissioner Lieutenant General Mondli Zuma said that he was shocked by the incident. He has requested that members of the public seek help should they be confronted by challenges or any other social problems.