10-year-old Free State girl drowns in pool at Umhlanga Rocks holiday complex

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A 10-year-old girl drowned in a swimming pool at Ocean Villa holiday apartments in Umhlanga Rocks, KwaZulu-Natal.
A 10-year-old girl drowned in a swimming pool at Ocean Villa holiday apartments in Umhlanga Rocks, KwaZulu-Natal.
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  • An inquest docket has been opened after a 10-year-old girl from the Free State drowned at the Ocean Villa holiday complex in Umhlanga Rocks.
  • Police said the child's aunt found her motionless in the pool after she returned from plugging her cellphone in.
  • A nearby neighbour in Umhlanga Rocks complained that the holiday apartments were badly managed, which the complex denied.

A 10-year-old girl from the Free State holidaying with family in KwaZulu-Natal drowned in a swimming pool at Ocean Villa in Umhlanga Rocks on Friday.

Police spokesperson Captain Raymond Deokaran said several people, including children, had been sitting around the pool before the incident occurred.

"The deceased child's aunt said she stood up and went inside to charge her phone and, when she returned, she found the little girl in the pool, not moving. She jumped in to get her out. Paramedics [certified] her dead at the scene."

Kayleen van der Merwe of Ocean Villa said the paramedics were called in to the premises as one of the managers performed CPR on the child.

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"We are so sorry about the tragic incident. We haven't yet got the full story from the child's supervisor. A security guard called us, we came rushing last night, the child had already been taken out of the pool. Cindy [one of the managers] gave her CPR, but she had sadly passed away," Van der Merwe said.

She added that, as far as she knew, there was no adult accompanying the child at the pool. 

A nearby resident nearby, Herbert Smith, blamed the Ocean Villa management, saying that there were numerous complaints about how the holiday complex was managed in the neighbourhood.

Lockdown

"I have emails to Cindy about the badly managed holiday complex. During lockdown, there were parties late after curfew, some were held even in the road outside. Guests arrived long after curfew, and our complaints to the police fell on deaf ears.

"As a holiday accommodation which is just a few metres from the beach, Ocean Villa should have a life guard for its guests. Now a little girl has died.. Where was the security? They have security guards who just sit around and don't enforce the rules," Smith said.

Van der Merwe disputed the allegations.

"I do not agree with that all. Our security guards have a policy that they need to follow and which they do. Last night, the gentleman you are talking about was trying to look over the wall to a point that police officers told him to leave, as he was invading people's privacy. He was very rude about the whole situation."

A police inquest in underway.

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