Young cousins drown in unfenced quarry

2010-09-20 00:00

TWO little girls drowned at the weekend in the unfenced Wayne’s Quarry at Willowfountain after going there to fetch chalk.

Nsimbi Xaba of Emaqeleni told The Witness that his daughter, Miranda Xaba (eight), and niece, Sebenzile Ntanganda (12), went with friends to the quarry to collect chalk, and then decided to swim.

He said there have been other drownings at the quarry, which is readily accessible and whose sides are steep.

Xaba said the last time he saw the girls was when they were playing outside the yard, and he was not aware that they had gone to the quarry until a neighbour’s child alerted him.

He rushed to the scene and waited while the SA Police Force search and rescue team retrieved the girls’ bodies.

He said other children who were at the scene told him his daughter drowned while trying to save her older cousin.

“For me, this was a hammer blow. I never expected that such a thing would happen.

“Apart from the water, the quarry is a danger zone to most people, as there are sometimes huge rocks that [fall down and] destroy houses.

“We have tried requesting fencing since there are no warning signs. Previously there were security guards, but they are no longer there, and as a result people find it easy to gain access to the place.”

A neighbour who did not want to be identified said there have been negotiations to fence the area, but some residents would steal the materials.

He said: “Since there are children who go to the area to swim without their parents’ knowledge, we urge residents not to steal whatever is put in place for their safety.”

The two children were pupils at Nansindlela Primary School in Imbali.

In another incident, the body of an unknown male was found floating in the Msunduzi River at Camps Drift.

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