'I just want my son out of there' - Mom of boy in mine shaft

2017-02-28 15:50

'All I want is my child' - desperate plea from mother of boy (5) who fell down mine shaft

2017-02-28 11:46

Nombeko Thole (50), the mother of Richard Thole says all she wants his her son's return. Five-year-old Richard is believed to have fallen into an abandoned mine shaft on Sunday. Watch.WATCH

Johannesburg - Richard Thole's friend cries whenever he thinks about his friend falling into a disused mine shaft in Boksburg.

"His friend is also 5 years old. When you question him, then he cries. He said they were playing. He is crying because he is also in shock," Richard’s mother Nombeko Thole said on Tuesday.

The 40-year-old sits outside her two-bedroom shack in the Jerusalem informal settlement. She stares at a pool table in front of her.

"I am unhappy because all I want is my child."

Her eyes are filled with sadness. She looks down when she speaks about her son. Richard wanted to be a police officer. He has two older sisters.

READ: Residents hold on to hope as search continues for boy who fell down mine shaft

Deep shaft

Her voice breaks when she describes what happened on Saturday. His friend came running to the house and told her Richard had fallen into a hole, about a five-minute walk away.

"He said: 'Let’s go I will show you.' When we got there, I realised it was not a hole, but a mine shaft. I shouted and shouted, but got no answer."

She called the police, and was put in touch with mine rescuers. The shaft is approximately 140m deep. Mine rescue officials had been trying their best, but with no success, she said.

"They have been trying, even bringing their cameras, but they cannot reach the deepest parts of the shaft. The shaft walls have been collapsing as well and this has disturbed their work."

She went to the shaft on Tuesday morning to tell Richard to reveal himself. Nombeko stood a few metres from the hole in silence. Later a family member held her.

"I went there to tell him to show himself because we are looking for him. Maybe the ancestors could help find the child.”

Despite the rescue operation being delayed, Nombeko remains hopeful Richard will be found.

"Every time somebody goes down there, I am always hopeful that they will surface with him. I lose hope every time they come back up empty-handed. I just want them to help me get my son out of there."

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  accidents  |  mining

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