Drowned boys were like brothers - mom

2015-12-24 08:23

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Durban – A mother who lost her son and nephew in a drowning incident said the boys were so close they thought of each other as brothers.

The KwaZulu-Natal mother, Cindy Gumede, aged 38, was left distraught after her son Nhlakanipho Zulu, aged 6, and nephew Oluhle Vilakazi, aged 4, drowned on Monday after swimming in Malende, Groutville, north of Durban. 

It was reported at the time that the boys were brothers.

Paramedics said the children drowned in a river metres away from Gumede's house in iLembe. IPSS Medical Rescue spokesperson, Paul Herbst, said the boys had been swimming with another youngster when they got into distress.

The third boy went to the home of the boys, where he told Gumede that they were in the river.

"She went down to the river and saw the bodies floating in the water," said Herbst.

Children snuck out to swim

Speaking to News24 on Wednesday Gumede said the boys had gone swimming without the knowledge of their elders.

“This was the second or third time they went swimming. Each time they always snuck out because we previously had no knowledge of it until this happened.

“The children were very respectful and active. They had been doing extremely well in school. Nhlakanipho loved to sing and dance. He and Oluhle were always together. They considered each other brothers. We are going to miss them a lot as a family,” she said.

Gumede said she and her family were having trouble coping with the deaths but said, “God is with me through it all”.

“We are all Christians in this family, making the burden a bit bearable because we live by prayer. I thank God that we were able to find their bodies because sometimes people are washed away at sea and relatives never get to bury them.”

Funeral arrangements for the boys are yet to be finalised.

Read more on:    durban  |  accidents

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