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Gran blames pension wait for death

Durban - A distraught woman whose grandson drowned in the uMngeni River has called for pension paypoint staff to speed up their service, so that pensioners could have more time to keep an eye on the orphans in their care.

Thembeka Dlamini, 65, of Lindelani, north of Durban, said only professional counselling could help her deal with the death of Nhlakanipho Ngwazi, 15.

Thembeka Dlamini, 65, mourns the loss of her grandson,15-year-old Nhlakanipho Ngwazi. Nhlakanipho drowned in the uMngeni River last week. Picture: supplied. Credit: Independent Newspapers

“Had I got my pension earlier, Nhlakanipho would not have drowned. On Monday (December 3), I left the house early in the morning to collect my pension. When I got back in the late afternoon, I was shattered by news that my eldest grandson had drowned.

“When we searched for his body, my mind raced with the hope of finding him. The hope soon disappeared after darkness. He was a lovely child with a big heart. I could give him any task, he would do it diligently,” said Dlamini.

Tragedy struck when Nhlakanipho and a group of boys decided to walk to a distant forest in Lindelani to pick mangoes.

Slipped

After gathering fruit, the boys decided go down to the river for a swim.

One of the boys, Nduduzo Mthethwa, 12, said: “Nhlaka slipped and fell into the water.

“The current was strong and it spun and swept him away. He yelled, while trying to grab the nearby trees. But it was too late. He just disappeared in front of our eyes.

“I miss him, to know that I will never see him (again) fills me with sadness.”

Dlamini had raised Nhlakanipho since 2009, when his mother died. The boy’s father died about 10 years ago.

“I am angry at the officials for not taking care of the pensioners. Had I been home early, I would have disapproved of him going to pick mangoes with a group of friends,” she said.

The body of the Grade 8 pupil was recovered a day later, his arm gripped around a rock.

KwaZulu-Natal police spokesman Captain Thulani Zwane confirmed the drowning, but could not give details on the post-mortem results. - Daily News

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