Gardener drowns in pool

2011-10-24 00:00

A YOUNG man’s attempt to help a job seeker by offering him work as a casual gardener at his mother’s home in Cleland on Saturday ended in tragedy when the gardener’s body was found floating in the family swimming pool the same evening.

The victim, estimated to be in his twenties, was known only by the name Siyabonga and efforts are under way to locate his next of kin.

It is believed that both his parents are dead, but that he has a married sister, The Witness was told.

Traumatised homeowner Macree Ncolosi, who discovered the body, said that both she and her husband, Milton Ncolosi, had gone out that morning after giving instructions for the gardener to work in the front garden.

“It was his first time to work here. My son brought him [from Ashdown].

“He was not supposed to go into the back where the swimming pool is,” she told The Witness.

She spotted the man’s body floating in the pool when she decided to water the garden at about 6 pm, she said. She immediately called the police.

The victim was fully clothed in his trousers, shirt and sandals.

Ncolosi’s son, whose first name is also Siyabonga, lives in Ashdown and said the victim of the tragedy was known to him and to his neighbours by sight as he would approach them almost daily looking for work or food.

“Yesterday he came and asked if I can help him with food or maybe a job to do work in the garden.

“I told him that the only job I have for him is to wash my car and then maybe I can take him to my mother’s place to work in the garden. I was trying to help him,” he said.

He said that he dropped the man off at his mother’s home between nine and 10  am and left to attend a funeral.

“I came back at around 2 pm to pick him up because it was Saturday so he would not have to work the whole day,” he said.

However, there was no sign of the man.

Siyabonga Ncolosi said he asked one of the children who was home where the gardener was and was told the man had earlier mentioned something about getting a cigarette.

“I thought maybe he had gone to the shop,” he said.

Ncolosi said he was unable to find the gardener and walked around the house calling his name, but there was no sign of him.

He said that after about 30 minutes he drove away and stopped at the nearby Portland Garage to see if he could find him there. When he couldn’t find him he drove home.

“Only God and he knows what happened,” he said of the tragedy yesterday. “I only wanted to help him.”

Netcare 911 spokesperson Jeff Wicks said paramedics arrived at the scene to find that the man had been pulled from the water. “Sadly he had died prior to their arrival and was declared dead at the scene.”

Warrant Officer Joey Jeevan confirmed yesterday that the police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the drowning and are trying to identify and trace the victim’s relatives.

ingrido@witness.co.za

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