Not clear if NWU drowning victim could swim

2012-01-23 20:36
Johannesburg - A North West University student who drowned in the swimming pool on its Potchefstroom campus at the weekend has been identified as Thabang Makhoang.

He was enrolled for a Bachelor of Engineering course in mechanical engineering after matriculating in 2010, university spokesperson Kiewiet Scheppel said in a statement.

Makhoang, 19, of Wolmaransstad, was with 76 other students when he drowned on Saturday after they participated in a fruit festival.

The group went to the Fanie du Toit sports grounds pool to clean themselves up. It was not clear whether he could swim.

Provincial police said on Sunday that the other students and the conductors of the orientation did not notice that Makhoang was no longer with them when they left the pool.

His body was found at the bottom of the pool by another group of students who went for a swim later.

Scheppel said Makhoang's family was brought to Potchefstroom, where the campus rector, Professor Herman van Schalkwyk, spoke to them on Monday afternoon.

"Van Schalkwyk said the family were very sad and emotional," she said.

"The next-of-kin are currently receiving counselling from a team of psychologists of the university and will later be supported with the funeral arrangements by social services."

The family had asked that their privacy be respected and that they be given time to mourn their loss, Scheppel said.

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