Teen drowns in pool

2018-11-06 15:30
Police have opened an inquest into the death of Lihle Gebuza, who drowned at Eastwood Swimming Pool on Saturday.

Police have opened an inquest into the death of Lihle Gebuza, who drowned at Eastwood Swimming Pool on Saturday.

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A Tamboville mother is pleading for answers from Msunduzi Municipality after her teenage son drowned at Eastwood Swimming Pool at the weekend. 

Thembisa Gebuza had seen her only child Lihle (14) set off with friends to cool off in the hot weather on Saturday afternoon. She was later asked by those friends to go to the pool because an incident had occurred. There she made the grim discovery of his dead body.

The family now question whether something could have been done to prevent his death, and have implored Msunduzi to shed light on the circumstances surrounding the incident.

“He went off to have fun with the other kids. His friends came back and told us something happened. They weren’t accompanied by any officials,” Gebuza told The Witness.

“We got there to find the area full of police and paramedics. We saw his body was already covered and paramedics told us they tried to save him but there was nothing they could do.”

She said: “We still don’t know the full details, and we can’t ask his friends too many questions because they are young and still in a state of shock. It has been devastating for us. We have have no information about what happened.”

Lihle’s uncle, Khwezi Jiya, said: “We need to know if staff at the pool were irresponsible. Because if there were lifeguards patrolling, then they would have seen him [Lihle] in need of help and they could have jumped in.

“If it’s unsafe for children to swim there, it should be closed. Maybe he could have been saved.”

The Concerned Swimming Fraternity (CSF) was adamant that the incident was a result of negligence.

“There were less than 20 bathers in the pool at the time, and there should not have been a drowning in such a circumstance,” said the CSF’s Jay Jugwanth.

Jugwanth questioned whether the lifeguards on duty had up-to-date qualifications, and said lifeguards needed to renew their qualifications every two years.

“This incident happened at a public pool, and the findings of the inquest should be made public,” he added.

The family are still arranging Lihle’s funeral, and on Monday left for the Eastern Cape where the boy will be buried.

Jiya described Lihle as a smart, polite and playful boy who loved playing soccer.

Msunduzi did not respond to specific questions, but confirmed an investigation was under way.

Police spokesperson Captain Gay Ebrahim confirmed an inquest was being investigated.

“At 2.30 pm it was brought to the attention of the lifeguard on duty that he was in difficulty. The lad was floating in the pool. He was taken out of the pool and lifeguards tried to save him.”

She said paramedics arrived but unfortunately he died.

Body found in farm dam along R56

A body was found in a farm dam along the R56 between Ixopo and Umzimkhulu on Monday morning.

Paramedics and the SAPS search and rescue unit were alerted to the scene by a passerby.

ER24 spokesperson Russel Meiring said search and rescue personnel retrieved the body, which was found a short distance away in the dam.

“Once the body had been brought to the banks, paramedics assessed the man and found that he had been dead for some time.”

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  drowning

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