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Boy drowns in dam after hailstorm

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by MOHANOE KHIBA

Lentswe, Khuma - A severe rain and hail storm on Saturday 4 January in the Kosh Area caused wide-spread flooding. That afternoon also changed forever for the family of a 10 year old Khuma boy who drowned in a dam of water that a few days earlier was only a small stream.

Simphiwe Tsamba was allegedly pushed into the water. He couldn’t swim. Police divers searched for the body but it was called off after four hours. Matlosana Public Safety MMC Sebenzile Daemane said divers stopped searching because the storm was too strong. His body was eventually found the next morning after 10:00 about 1,5 km from where he fell.

On the arrival of Lentswe at Malekutu Dam, it was estimated that he was 700 metres away from the bridge.

Simphiwe’s mother died in 2016 and he was left in the care of his aunt, Kedibone Tshabalala who is also his guardian. She is the Dr Kenneth Kaunda region’s ANCWL secretary. A distraught Kedibone said she heard that the boy’s friends pushed him into the water and left him there without help.

“I bought him new shoes, but it did not fit him and I had to return it to the shop. When I left I asked him to play in the yard, not in the street, so that was my goodbye to him,” she said sobbing.

Kedibone said the festive season comes with sadness to her. “We buried his mother during festive season, the following year one of our family members was also stabbed to death, last week we are at another funeral and today we lost Simphiwe,” she cried.

The police have opened an inquest into the boy’s death.

During his funeral on Saturday 11 January at Old Apostolic Church, Kedibone’s Nozizwe Primary School schoolmates, teachers and principal Mthimkhulu Mafongosi were present. Simphiwe was supposed to start Grade 4 this week after he passed Grade 3 last year. Principal Mafongosi said the pupils are still traumatized after the drowning of their late schoolmate.

“We are so saddened by the incident and we are requesting that the parents must guide children, so that they can be closer to them. Children must not be alone. There are those lessons of life skills where we teach pupils safety and teach them about dangerous places. We are going to make sure that these pupil’s get counselling as they are still traumatised,” he said.

A resident Vincent Lebese, said what happened to Simphiwe must be a lesson to our government. “Our municipality must build a swimming pool as to avoid issues of this kind.

“There must be swimming lessons to children, so that we can avoid deaths like these. So let there be a swimming pool in Khuma,” Lebese said.