Mabhida’s great-grandson drowns in swimming pool

2011-03-04 00:00

A GREAT-GRANDSON of struggle stalwart Moses Mabhida drowned at Msunduzi Municipality’s Alexandra swimming pool yesterday morning.

Khayelihle “Small” Mabhida (27) was a son of Mabhida’s granddaughter. He had been living on the streets for a number of years, and was a member of the YMCA Street Kids Project.

He and 17 YMCA children and adults were among 25 bathers at the pool.

They had gone to swim after finishing soccer practice.

Said Mduduzi Mwandla, who volunteers as the soccer coach for the YMCA street children’s soccer team, “We left the pools at about 11.30 am to eat at the YMCA. While we were eating we received information that Small had drowned at the pool.”

Mwandla said Mabhida showed signs of being epileptic, and he feared that he might have suffered a seizure in the pool.

Mabhida, who is originally from Slangspruit near Imbali had been living in Henrietta Street.

“We noticed his body at about 11.30 am,” said Andile Mvelase, who was swimming with Mabhida.

“We know that he is Moses Mabhida’s great-grandson,” said a young woman, who lived with Mabhida on the street.

One of Moses Mabhida’s daughters, Zandile Mabhida, confirmed that Khayelihle is a great-grandson of the late SA Communist Party leader.

“For the whole day I was not feeling well, which is common for me when I’m about to hear shocking news,” she said.

A municipal employee, who asked to remain anonymous, said the swimming pools are operating with one lifeguard at a time instead of four.

“One lifeguard works in the morning while another one works in the afternoon, which is wrong since these pools are always busy. There should be four lifeguards — two for the main pool, one at the babies’ pool and another in the filtration area.”

A police officer at the scene said he was shocked to learn that there was only one lifeguard to look after 25 people.

Municipal spokesperson Brian Zuma confirmed that there was only one lifeguard when the incident happened.

“The lifeguard who was on duty from 6 am then went to do a routine check at the super-tube and kiddies pool.

“He went upstairs to change since he was preparing to leave at 1 pm.

“That’s when he spotted the body in the pool and dived to the rescue,” said Zuma.

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