Teen hero drowns in ditch saving child

2013-07-01 00:00

A 15-YEAR-OLD boy from Slangspruit who drowned in a ditch dug for a sewage pipe yesterday, had saved the life of another child before he himself got into difficulties.

His aunt was told the news of his death on her way back from church yesterday.

Khethokuhle Dlamini from Slangspruit in Imbali was with his friends when he saw a child crying for help in the ditch. His younger brother, Sizwe Dlamini, told The Witness that he rushed to save the child.

His aunt, Buyisile Dlamini, said her children told her of his death as she returned home. At first she did not believe them.

“I told myself that he would never come and play this far from home. As I was crossing the river and turned towards the ditch I saw his clothing next to the ditch and I [called] the police and the elders for help.”

A young bystander told how Khethokuhle had managed to save the other child who was in the ditch, but then did not emerge from the water.

“We called for help. Some people came with spades, which we used to dig a way for the water to [drain out], but we failed.”

Thokozani Magwaza, the area’s PR councillor, said the ditch had been open since April and it needed to be monitored regularly.

“They should make sure that they monitor this after rain This was not the first incident; last year two children drowned just a few metres away from here. That was supposed to be their wake-up call in ensuring children’s safety,” said Magwaza.

Community policing forum chairperson Themba Taylor said the ditch was putting the lives of children at risk as no cover or fencing is used around the site. The pipeline between Unit 2 and Slang­spruit in Imbali is a project of the municipality.

Municipal mayor Chris Ndlela, who was notified by The Witness, sent his condolences to the family.

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