Rising water hampers search for missing kids

2014-03-14 19:10
(Picture: Sapa)

(Picture: Sapa)

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Johannesburg - The search for three children who went missing earlier this week in Mamelodi East, Pretoria, has been put on hold, police said on Friday.

"The Moretele River is not conducive for divers to conduct their duties," police spokesperson Johannes Maheso said.

"But they will monitor the water levels [until they are lower] and then they will resume the search."

On Thursday, the SA Police Service's search-and-rescue team searched the area within a 5km radius on Thursday.

"They searched from a certain point of the Moretele River in Mamelodi, up until the Baviaanspoort prison in Kameeldrift," Maheso said at the time.

Neo Setlhabane, 10, Gomolemo Mangena, 10, and Bonolo Malemela, 9, were reported missing on Monday evening.

"They were last seen on Monday after school. They got home, changed into home clothes and went to play," he said.

"The children were playing near a church in the area. There is a stormwater drainage pipe which runs up to a river."

Maheso said the river was about a kilometre away from the church.

Nothing was found in the pipe in which, police suspect, the children may have become stuck.

Police search-and-rescue teams and others have been searching for them since Monday.

The lay-out plans of the drainage pipes in the area would be studied to decide whether the search could be extended, Maheso said.

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