Two toddlers drown in pit after storm

2013-10-28 11:25
Sisters Thembisile and Nompumelelo Ngcobo. (Rajesh Jantilal, The Witness)

Sisters Thembisile and Nompumelelo Ngcobo. (Rajesh Jantilal, The Witness)

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Durban - Two 3-year-old cousins drowned in a flooded pit on Saturday night as their mothers cleared up after a storm hit large parts of the KwaZulu-Natal coast.

The tragedy occurred as parts of the eThekwini Municipality and the province’s South Coast were buffeted by rain and strong winds over the weekend.

Homes were flooded in Mariannhill and Pinetown and power outages were reported in Pinetown and parts of Durban’s CBD.

Alwande Ngcobo and Sinamile Cele, both 3, drowned in Luganda near Mariannhill.

Wandered off

It is unclear how the children wandered off while their parents were busy mopping up their homes.

Both children were found floating in a flooded pit behind Alwande’s home.

Alwande’s mother, Nompumelelo, said her son had been with her, but disappeared as she tried to prevent further flooding of her home.

Nompumelelo’s sister, Thembisile, was also trying to prevent further flooding when Sinamile disappeared. They said they only became aware that the children were missing when Thembisile asked her son to look for Sinamile at her sister’s house.

“It rained heavily for a few hours and when it subsided, I decided to clean and mop up water that was knee-high in the house. I took Alwande to sleep and as I put him on the bed, he said ‘I love you, mummy’ and I said ‘I love you too my boy’,” said Nompumelelo.

The tragedy is the second to hit Thembisile this year, as Sinamile’s father died in February.

eThekwini Municipality Mayor James Nxumalo visited the area on Sunday. He said people in the area had been asked to leave their homes because it was unsafe.

Read more on:    durban  |  weather  |  drownings

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