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Boy, 10, drowns in uncovered manhole in Free State

By Faeza
28 March 2017

A 10-year-old boy drowned after falling into an uncovered manhole in Clocolan, Free State police said on Monday.

A group of children were flying kites near the manhole when Kananelo Saleman, 10, fell into it on Saturday afternoon, Captain Phumelelo Dhlamini said.

It was about 8m deep. Police divers recovered his body that evening. An inquest would be conducted.

Setsoto local municipality ward councillor Tshidiso Jakobo, who was at the scene, said the recovery operation was difficult.

"He fell in around 11 or 12 in the morning, and his body was only recovered at 7pm," he said.

The boy’s mother, Tshokolo Segene, 34, blamed the municipality for the death. She told the Daily Sun that if the hole had been covered, her son would still be alive.

"That area is an old pump station, and it is not in use. It was fenced twice, but was unfortunately damaged. We knew that the area might cause serious problems, and unfortunately it has now," she was quoted as saying.

Jakobo assured the family that the matter would be taken urgently to the mayor. He hoped the municipality would accept responsibility.

Source: News24