Swept off bridge: Divers find boy's body

2009-02-02 00:00

THE mother of the eight-year-old boy who was swept away at a Msunduzi River low-level bridge yesterday thanked the SAPS search and rescue team led by Inspector Jack Haskins for recovering his body.

Nonhlanhla Mabaso said the divers had done a great job in their search for Siphesihle. “I am grateful to Haskins and his diving team for their hard work in searching for my son. All I wanted was to see my boy; it was very hard not knowing what happened to him.”

The body was found five kilometres downstream from the Woodhouse Road low-level bridge where he was swept away on Saturday.

His family, community members and the police had been searching the river banks and hospitals in the hope of finding him alive.

“I never stopped hoping that we would find him alive. I prayed for him to come back to me. My family was also very supportive,” said the heartbroken Mabaso.

Haskins said the search began again at 9 am yesterday. “We were in the water for one hour and 30 minutes before we found the body.”

Mabaso was waiting by the river when her son’s body was found.

“I have never lost a child before so I did not know what to do, except that I wanted to see my boy,” she said wiping tears away.

A family member who rushed to the scene said Mabaso broke down in grief. “It wasn’t easy for her. We wanted to prevent her from seeing the body, but on second thoughts we had to allow her to see her child.

“We decided it was the best way for her to deal with the situation; sooner rather than later.”

Mabaso said Siphesihle’s younger brother was hallucinating on Sunday night. “He kept on calling his brother’s name and said ‘I love you too’. I did not know what to do. I was also traumatised.”

SAPS spokesman Senior Superintendent Henry Budhram said the body was taken to the government mortuary where a postmortem will be conducted to determine the exact cause of death.

sandilez@witness.co.za

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