Eastern Cape health authorities and the police have called on members of the public to refrain from consuming home-brewed beer mixed with methylated spirits after three more people died.
According to Eastern Cape police spokesperson Colonel Sibongile Soci, the latest incident took place in KwaNonibe village, King William’s Town, this week.
Soci said two people died on Thursday, while a third died in hospital on Friday.
Eastern Cape health department spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo said nine people were in a critical condition in Stutterheim Hospital after consuming the concoction.
The nine were part of a group of 12 who consumed the home brew in Ndakana location, Stutterheim, said Kupelo.
He added another three people died in Keiskammahoek after drinking Drink-O-Pop powdered cooldrink mixed with methylated spirits last week.
Deaths from home-made beer are on the rise as alcohol remains banned as part of the national lockdown aimed at containing the spread of the coronavirus.
“It is extremely dangerous to drink any concoction mixed with methylated spirits and we want people to refrain from the habit, it kills.” Kupelo said.
He added the causes of death would be confirmed once laboratory tests were concluded.
“The SAPS can confirm that inquest dockets have been opened for investigation following the death of three people at Nonibe location outside King William’s Town this week,” Soci said.
“It is alleged that the family made home-brewed beer, which is believed to be the reason that led to the death of these people. However, the investigation into the matter continues.”
The police have appealed to residents to refrain from making home-made beer and mixtures as the results can be detrimental.