Families of boys killed in KwaDukuza trench collapse demand answers
KwaZulu-Natal SAPS spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbele said it was alleged that the two boys were helping a man to dig for building sand when the wall of the hole they were digging in collapsed on them.
“Both victims were declared dead at the scene.”
IPSS Medical Rescue said its search and rescue division, together with SAPS search and rescue responded to the scene.
“On arrival of IPSS paramedics, they found that both boys, aged 12 and 9, showed no sign of life, and were declared dead on scene,” IPSS said.
Zipho Mtegu, a 12-year-old Grade 6 pupil from Mavivane Primary School in Lindelani, and his 9-year-old friend and neighbour, Njabulo Mthethwa, who was a Grade 1 pupil in the same school, left home yesterday morning to go and play.
Nokuthula Mthethwa, Njabulo’s mother, said the family were still in shock and disbelief following the incident.
Mthethwa said she had more questions than answers as to what actually happened to her son.
She said when she was told of the news, she was at work, adding that she was surprised that her son had been playing near the Mbozamo River, which borders Lindelani and Shakaville.
Mthethwa said her son had left the house to go and play with other children, and she was taken aback that that he was helping an unknown adult man to dig for sand.
She said the story they were told did not sit well with the family and they were not able to get more information, as the man had disappeared.
“It would be better if the police could find the man, so that he can provide us with answers.”
She described Njabulo as a good boy, who was liked by his friends and schoolmates.
“He was young and he was a very lovable boy,” said Mthethwa.
Zipho’s father, Jabulani Khuzwayo, said he would leave the investigation in the hands of the police.
Khuzwayo said: “We are shocked and distraught because this is something we never anticipated.
“We want justice to take its course.
“We will work with the police to get to the bottom of this matter,” he said.
Shakaville ward councillor Ntobeko Zulu, who was at the scene when the bodies were recovered, said he was traumatised at what he witnessed.
Zulu said the man who was with the boys was from the area and he did odd jobs for a living.
“He was asked to get 12 wheelbarrows of sand, and when he returned after the fourth load, the children were buried in the hole,” said Zulu.
Zulu said he was surprised at the ease with which the bodies of the children were removed from the hole, which he estimated to be about 1.8m deep.
Mbele said an inquest docket was opened at KwaDukuza police station.