We tried to revive Owami – 'illegal' crèche owner

2016-04-07 08:50
Owami Ndlovu (File, supplied)

Owami Ndlovu (File, supplied)

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Johannesburg – When little Owami Ndlovu's body was found floating in the pool at Rose Day Care Centre in Bramley, Johannesburg, the owner claimed her brother did everything he could to revive the 1-year-old. 

“The boy was breathing heavily after my brother got some of the water out. We rushed him to the hospital with the father,” crèche owner, Rose Abimana, told News24

Abimana said this was the first time when one of the children had gone near the pool.

Owami's grieving father described the pain he felt when he went to pick up his son from day care, only to be told that "something had happened" to him.

"When I went to pick up my son after work, he was no longer there," Nkosinathi Ndlovu told News24. 

The toddler was apparently found floating in a half full pool of dirty rain water.

Blame the caregivers

Abimana said the crèche removed the pool covering every month to clean the water. 

The father has focused his anger at the incident on the crèche. 

"My son may have been floating on the water for more than an hour. If they only did their work, they would have noticed that he is not around. How do you not notice a missing 19-month-old child?" Ndlovu said. 

"I blame the caregivers of the crèche, because they did not even notice that my son was gone. It will never bring back my son."

- Read more: How to perform CPR on a baby, child or an adult

The department of social development has since shut down the Rose Day Care Centre. 

Abimama said she started the crèche to help out some mothers. 

"The day care has been open for three months and I charged parents R350 a month. I was only trying to help other mothers and do something in the house," she said.

Laid to rest

Little Owami was laid to rest on Wednesday at the West Park Cemetery in Johannesburg. Ndlovu said his family could heal and look for a way forward now that their son had been buried. 

The family still found it hard to believe what had happened. "I am still looking for answers as to what happened to my son and why there was no one looking after him," he said.

Gauteng social development spokesperson, Mbangwa Xaba, said of the crèche: "Any child could have been killed by a multiplicity of things there; the place is hazardous. We have assembled a team to make sure that children are moved."

Officials urged parents do background checks before entrusting their children to any facility.

- Read more: How to pick a pre-school

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  drownings

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