Report of drowning a false alarm

THE community of Fateng tse Ntsho near Paul Roux at the dam after rumours of a child drowning there.  Photo: Tladi Moloi
THE community of Fateng tse Ntsho near Paul Roux at the dam after rumours of a child drowning there. Photo: Tladi Moloi

MAPULE KHEOLA (30) from Fateng tse Ntsho near Paul Roux, says she nearly fainted when people who were running towards the nearby dam claimed her 10-year-old son had drowned.

“My heart stopped for a few seconds before I rushed to the Sekoko Primary School to check if my son was there. I was relieved when I found him playing with other kids at the school. I then went back home with him,” said a relieved mother.

It is alleged that one of the community members had called the police after having heard from a young boy that one of his friends had drowned in the dam on their way from school on Tuesday (19/01).

It is alleged that the boy had said they were coming home from school when the incident occured.

However, his father, Paulos Mofokeng (43), says the rumours of someone drowning in the dam are untrue. He says he witnessed the “whole movie” as he lives near the dam.

“I was busy covering seats at my house when a teacher passing near my yard in the direction of the dam told four boys, aged six to eight years, to leave the area and go home. A few minutes later I saw a group of children running towards the dam. I asked them what was happening and they said a child had drowned.

“I quickly left what I was doing and went on to check if that was true. When I arrived there was no sign of what they had reported, but I heard one saying it was my son who was in the dam.

“I could not believe it, but my wife went to the school to check that he was there,” he said.

Mofokeng said there were footprints at the place where the boys claimed his son had drowned, but they looked like those of a cow.

“While we were standing there, one of the brave police officers took off his shoes and started searching for the child. Other police members joined him later, but they did not find anything,” he said.

Lt. Zweli Mohobeleli, Bethlehem cluster police spokesperson, confirmed that they had received a report, but added that it had been a false alarm.

“We sent our police divers there, but they found nothing. One of our members went to the family of the child that was reported drowned, but he was found at home,” he said.

My heart stopped for a few seconds before I rushed to the Sekoko Primary School to check if my son was there. – Mapule Kheola

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