University drowning an accident - probe

2012-04-04 11:23

Bloemfontein - Nobody can be held responsible for the drowning of first year student Thabang Makhoang at the Potchefstroom Campus of the North West University in January, an investigation has found.

North West University spokesperson Louis Jacobs said this was the finding of an independent investigation by advocates Lourens de Koning SC and Vusi Pikoli into the death of Makhoang on January 21.

"No foul play was involved in the death and no person or entity could be held accountable for causing the death through negligence or otherwise," Jacobs said on Wednesday.

The probe found that Makhoang’s drowning was a freak accident which took place during an event arranged solely for fun and team-building. There was no form of initiation during the incident.

Jacobs said it was found that even though trained, professional lifeguards were not on duty during the incident they would most likely not have been of any help.

He said Makhoang had not appeared to be in distress to any of the many people deployed around the pool for safety.

They included six members of the Potchefstroom campus crisis line and counselling centre, six members of the Potchefstroom campus emergency services, 28 peer helpers and 25 members of the reception and introduction committee.

Two ER24 ambulances and six to seven staff members were also in close proximity to the swimming pool.

Jacobs said the university council discussed the report on March 30 and decided that its recommendations be revisited and expanded.

The university would also continue with its outreach programmes at the Reabona Secondary School and in the Tswelelang community.

Makhoang’s family would also be further supported.

Jacobs said the findings of the investigations and the council’s decisions were presented and explained in person to Makhoang’s mother by Potchefstroom Campus Rector Herman van Schalkwyk this week.

  • Andre - 2012-04-04 12:30

    as jy nie kan swem nie, bly uit die water uit en stort eerder, dis veiliger, n bad kan ook gevaarlik wees,

      Ashliegh - 2012-04-11 10:29

      Dit is nie die kwessie van U KAN nie hier swem Lees die storie en verstaan ??ASSEBLIEF

  • bluzulu - 2012-04-04 12:32

    How can no one be found guilty of negligence when the safety officials present at the time did not help this youngster.... This stinks to HIGH HELL.

      fizz3r - 2012-04-04 12:35

      How could he be helped? He could not swim, why did he than enter the water! His own fault, nobody to blame.

      bluzulu - 2012-04-04 12:58

      @ Fizz, Hence the presence of Safety officials.

      Khutso Rele Mokgosi - 2012-04-04 13:08

      johann just keep quiet if you dont have anything intelligent to say.

  • Lulama - 2012-04-04 12:45

    Poor kid. He had his whole life ahead of him. So much for team-building.

  • Khutso Rele Mokgosi - 2012-04-04 13:05

    im not suprised at the outcome of the investigations at all. after being a nwu student for a year and partaking in these activities, i still cannot understand how none of the students noticed that one of their fellow student is missing. his absence would stick out like a sore thumb because he was most probably the only, if not one of the very few, black student. pure negligence sugar coated yet again.

  • Khutso Rele Mokgosi - 2012-04-04 13:11

    as jy 'n hk lid is, moenie mense dwing om in die water in te gaan nie. dit is wat hulle doen. ek was n pukke eenmaal NOOIT WEER!

      Ashliegh - 2012-04-11 10:32

      Niemand word gedwing om te gaan in die water wat jy nie baie goed JY KAN nie so swem waarom jy word getrek om te swem terwyl jy kan NIE

  • Marion - 2012-04-04 15:18

    I don't see that it says he could not swim anywhere in this article. To those of you who are commenting on his ability to swim, show some compassion.

  • Zinhle Nhlapho - 2012-04-04 18:56

    Thank you Marion. This is a tragedy,the least any1 can do is 2show remorse.

  • Koantrium - 2012-04-10 15:42

    This was a FREAK ACCIDENT! If this accident happened at any other University it would not have received half of the attention. It is sad that the loss of this individuals life is over shadowed by the high blooded reactions of racist emotions! It is easier to blame and feel hatred than to accept loss...

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