Boy drowns in trench in Free State township

2017-02-17 22:25
The new fence was also erected in Tswaraganang, an area near the scene of the accident. (Picture: Jakobus Greeff)

The new fence was also erected in Tswaraganang, an area near the scene of the accident. (Picture: Jakobus Greeff)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg – A six-year-old boy has drowned in a trench dug during a now-abandoned sanitation project which has been marred by irregularities and lack of money, in a Free State township.

The six-year-old child was playing with friends after school when he apparently slipped and fell into the trench, where he drowned, on Tuesday. His school is close to the site.

The hole was left open after a toilet-building project, in the Dikgalaope township, in the Tokologo local municipality, was left incomplete last year.

Municipal spokesperson Caswell Thlokwe said the contractors stopped work in December and had not been back since. The water affairs department funded the project as part of a bucket-toilet eradication project.

“There seems to be an issue of some outstanding payment for the contractors from the department, so that could be the reason why they [contractors] are not back on site,” he said.

"They left some holes where they were going to do some connections. The holes were properly fenced to prevent kids from getting in. I was called to go and check and I went there personally. My observation when I was there on Tuesday was that there was indeed one side that was tampered with."

Contractors fenced the hole off on Thursday afternoon to prevent further accidents or deaths.

Director of sub-contractor ProCare, Jakobus Greeff, said they were employed to help build the toilets. They left the site in May 2016.

“They stopped us from working a month into the project and told us to leave within 24 hours. The area was fenced off. We heard there was no money and some sort of irregularity," he said.

According to Greeff, another contractor continued working on the project until they weren't paid.

The contractors were planning to take legal action against the department.

"At the moment, we are prepared to let this play out in court,” department spokesperson Sputnik Ratau said.

“There is a dispute about the verification of the work done and a dispute about the invoice and money that is due to be paid,” he said.

The DA sent its condolences to the boy’s family. Local DA councillor, Merafe Sekwaemang, said he would demand a full culpable homicide investigation.

Read more on:    da  |  accidents

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Partner Content
How data is changing investments

Technological disruption is rife in many spheres of business and given the quantity of data available, it’s no surprise that the way in which asset managers work is also changing fast.

Behind the sparkle

Alluring, beautiful and timeless - diamonds are some of the most sought after gems in the world and are a true testament of everlasting brilliance. Let us take you behind the sparkle to show you the history behind this coveted jewel.


Play with your pet when you're not at home

Many pets are alone at home during the week while their owners are at work. So what do these animals get up to while they’re home alone?



How to get rid of fleas
12 Cool cat facts
Chocolate can be fatal for dogs
Spider-man star's adorable relationship with his dog
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.