Bathabile Dlamini comforts parents of toddler swept away by floods

2016-11-24 22:08
President of the ANC Women's League and Minister of Social Development Bathabile Dlamini with the family of the Alexandra toddler  (Lerato Sejake, News24)

President of the ANC Women's League and Minister of Social Development Bathabile Dlamini with the family of the Alexandra toddler (Lerato Sejake, News24)

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WATCH: I blame myself - Alexandra father

2016-11-24 17:45

The father of the three-year-old girl who went missing during flash floods two weeks ago said he blamed himself. WATCH

Johannesburg – President of the ANC Women's League (ANCWL) Bathabile Dlamini has told the family of 3-year-old Everlate Chauke who was swept away by floods not to blame themselves.

"You shouldn't blame yourselves for what happened; it is something that was out of your control," she told Everlate's parents on Thursday. 

While the child's name was previously reported as Everite it has been confirmed as Everlate.

The women's league was visiting families who were affected by the flash floods. The ANCWL was also in Alexandra to launch its activities for the 16 Days of No Violence Against Women and Children campaign.

"When you held on to her during the [incident], that should prove to you that you wanted her to live and you loved her," she said.  

Everlate's father, Shadrick Chauke, recounted the moment his daughter fell into the river. He said he tried his best to save her.

Body still to be identified

"We couldn't believe what happened. I tried but I failed," he said.   

While Shadrick explained what had happened on the day of the floods his wife Cynthia sat silently next to him.  

The women's league donated money and food to the family.

Earlier this week the body of a child believed to be Everlate was found in the Jukskei River in Buccleuch, north of Johannesburg. 

"A body was found by community members today. While rebuilding their home, the people found a child among the rubble," police spokesperson Kay Makhubela told News24.

Makhubela said police could not ascertain if the child was indeed Everlate and the family was still waiting for confirmation.  

Police search completed

Since the 3-year-old was swept away by the flooded Jukskei River on November 9 the search team had moved from Alexandra to Hartbeespoort Dam, north-west of Gauteng, News24 reported.

Police completed their search of the dam on Monday.

Everlate, her father, and his wife were in their makeshift home in Alexandra, next to the Jukskei River, when it started raining heavily.

When water began filling their dwelling they climbed a tree. The mother was on one branch and father and daughter on another.

The branch broke and Everlate fell into the water. Shadrick jumped in after her but was forced to swim back to safety without her.

Read more on:    ancwl  |  bathabile dlamini  |  johannesburg  |  floods

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