New caterer for medical university cafeteria after student's death

SMU students gathered to remember Hunadi Magongia, who passed away after appartent food poisoning from cafeteria food. Picture: Jacques Naude, African News Agenc (ANA)

The Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University (SMU) has appointed another service provider for its student cafeteria.

The facility was temporarily closed following the death of a student due to suspected food poisoning.

The new service provider started trading yesterday and will continue until further notice.

Hunadi Magongoa, 20, died in hospital from suspected food poisoning on Sunday.

She had eaten food from the cafeteria last Friday and subsequently suffered from diarrhoea and vomiting.

Fellow players from the women’s soccer team to which she belonged, who were with her and ate the same food, were also admitted to hospital.

The university immediately instituted an investigation by a multidisciplinary team, which included an external expert.

A report was meant to be released on Wednesday, but was delayed as more parties joined the investigation, including experts from the Department of Health and the polic

The state has opened an inquest and an autopsy will be conducted to determine the cause of death.

“As a result of the development, it was not possible to have the report released as anticipated,” the institution said.

Spokesperson Dr Eric Pule said they had planned activities to mourn the student and this hae led to the postponement of some academic assessments and releasing students earlier than usual.

“Management has decided that all academic activities will end by 1pm for the rest of the week to allow the university to mourn the death of Magongoa.

“All the assessments scheduled for the rest of the week have been postponed. However, final year students currently in the middle of assessments involving external examiners will have to complete scheduled assessments.

"Support will be provided to the soccer team members," Pule said.