Probe launched into deaths of two four-year-olds in pit at crèche

2014-05-15 00:00

AN investigation has been launched into the deaths of two four-year-old children at a crèche in Nquthu on Monday.

Luthando Ndlovu and Luhle Mabaso were playing with another friend at Nothisiwe Crèche when they fell into a sewage pit and drowned.

Nothisiwe co-founder Buyisiwe Mbatha said they had reported the open pit to the Nquthu Municipality on a number of occasions and asked for help, because the crèche did not have the funds to close the hole.

Mbatha, who was not at Nothisiwe when the incident happened, said the crèche closes daily at 1.30 pm.

On Monday, three children were not fetched by their transport promptly when the facility closed and a number of teachers stayed behind to keep them company.

However, the children fell into the pit while they were playing.

Mbatha said the surviving child reported the incident to the teachers.

“Our teachers searched but could not find them because they did not think the children could have fallen into the pit. They called for police,” she said.

A police search and rescue team subsequently found the children’s bodies in the pit.

Social Development MEC Weziwe Thusi said yesterday she had ordered an urgent investigation into the incident.

The investigation would determine a number of factors, including the legality of the centre and its compliance with safety rules and regulations.

She promised tough action against anyone found guilty of wrongdoing.

“Social workers visited the centre yesterday [Tuesday] for an initial assessment and have called in their environmental health counterparts to assist with the investigation.

“I am also interested in knowing if the staff at the centre are qualified to look after children, because we all know that if you work with children you have to keep your eye on them at all times,” said Thusi.

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