Playing boy drowns in stream

2013-08-23 00:00

A NINE-YEAR-OLD boy’s hopeful attempts to retrieve a bodyboard to play with from a stream in Copesville on Wednesday, ended in tragedy when he drowned.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant Joey Jeevan said members of the Pietermaritzburg Search and Rescue unit retrieved the body of Nduduzo Mbasa from the stream near Copesville Secondary School on Wednesday. He lived nearby.

Jeevan said Nduduzo and his friends were playing next to a stream when they noticed a bodyboard floating in the water.

Bongi Mkhize, who saw the three boys walking to the river, said: “I thought that they were walking past that trench, but a few minutes later I noticed people running towards them.

“I was told that he noticed the surfboard in the water and he wanted to get it and play with it. He undressed and jumped into the water. As he was trying to play with the board it capsized and he drowned,” said Mkhize.

She added that the body of water had become dangerous for children who walk in the neighbourhood after a company started building a wall there.

Nduduzo was a Grade 4 pupil at Copesville primary. Hilda Mbasa, his great-grandmother, said that Nduduzo was a “different child” who wanted to be a farmer one day. “He was always with our neighbour’s cattle. We will miss his smile and his chats with us,” said Mbasa.

She said that she was not at home when he returned from school. “He sent his friend to get the keys from me as I was at the hall. Minutes later I was told that he had drowned.”

She said he loved school and even though he was not doing well in Zulu, he was good at English.

Jeevan said police have opened an inquest docket.

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