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Boys warned to avoid river

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Divers hunt for the bodies of two boys, believed to be brothers, in the uMlaza River. The children had been swimming in the river and are thought to have drowned when they were caught under water hyacinth. Picture: Netcare 911 Chris Botha

Durban - The parents of the two boys who drowned in the uMlaza river near Chatsworth at the weekend told them to stay away from the river because it was dangerous, but the children went anyway and, by the time they were missed on Sunday, it was already too late.

Khethukuthula Ndlovu, 13, a Grade 5 pupil at Nomzamo Mandela Primary School in Welbedacht, and Philani Mpisi, 12, in Grade 5 at Emsebe Primary School close by, were good friends who enjoyed each other’s company over weekends.

Their bodies were hauled from the river on Monday by police divers. They had both apparently drowned when they were swept under water hyacinth by the current.

Philani’s father, Nzayisai Mpisi, said yesterday his family was devastated.

“He was a very good child,” he said.

He was too upset to say much more about his son.

For the Ndlovu family, Khetukuthula’s death was a double blow, as his brother died last December.

Busisiwe Mbele, Khethukuthula’s grandmother, said she did not know what to do or how to cope with the grief of losing her grandson.

“He was a very nice boy and he worked hard. He did a lot of small jobs, and he gave all of his money to his mother,” she said.

Nomusa Ndlovu, the boy’s mother, was distraught.

“Khethu was smart and way ahead of his years. I had high hopes for his future,” she said.

Nomusa, who is unemployed and dependent on a social grant, is left with four daughters and a son. - The Mercury


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