Three-year-old Shaun Azuka. Picture supplied.
Three-year-old Shaun Azuka. Picture supplied.

WATCH: Heartbroken family says adults seemingly ignored toddler as he drowned

By Nomalanga Tshuma Time of article published Jun 8, 2021

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Cape Town - The family of a 3-year-old boy, who drowned in the pool of a housing complex in Big Bay, is struggling to come to terms with his death, believing that nearby swimmers could have saved him.

In video footage obtained by the family, it can clearly be seen that Shaun Azuka jumps into the pool, while three women are in the pool, two busy swimming and one sitting on the edge of the pool directly opposite where Shaun was struggling to keep above the water.

According to the family’s spokesperson Kaveer Buharee, Shaun died on February 12, after sneaking on to the housing complex’s top-deck adult pool.

Buharee believed that Shaun’s death could have been avoided and said the family had been further disturbed when they watched the video footage depicting the moments their son died.

The video, which was shared with the Cape Argus, shows little Shaun’s last moments before his body was fished out of the water.

In the video, Shaun can be seen hurriedly sneaking onto the deck where the pool is before launching himself into the water, with little hesitation. However, after a few moments he begins to struggle to stay afloat. All the while three women can be seen looking in his direction, but none of them approaches the boy to assist him.

A few minutes later one of the ladies moves closer to the spot where Shaun is last seen and rests within the vicinity, although she does not move to assist the child. After some time, in the background, a flurry of children and adults can be seen moving around the complex, searching for Shaun.

The video also goes on to show how two of the women got out of the pool and left, leaving behind the lady who remains sitting in the pool close to the spot where Shaun was last seen.

A few minutes go by and a different woman steps on to the deck before subsequently checking the pool, prompting the lady in the pool to get up and point to the child in a spot close to where she was sitting.

WARNING: Video contains footage not suitable for sensitive viewers

Shaun’s father, Timothy Azuka, said: “I don’t understand what happened that day. My son’s death feels like it could have been prevented. The worst part about this is trying to understand why he wasn’t saved by the adults who saw him struggling.

“Shaun was a bubbly, happy child. I still remember how he told me he loved me that morning before asking me to take him to school. The police want to hold me and my wife accountable but I did not purposely let my child die, I looked for him the second I realised he was gone. We looked everywhere until a family friend finally found him in the pool.”

Meanwhile, police say they are still waiting for the return of the docket which is with the director for public prosecution.

Spokesperson FC van Wyk said: “Be advised that the docket is currently with the director for public prosecution for a decision.”

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Cape Argus

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