26/01/2015 Durban Lungelo Cele's Mother on the right Sindisiwe Nxumalo together with her relative Zamile Cele mourning the passing of Lungelo Cele. PICTURE: LEARNERS LICENCE
26/01/2015 Durban Lungelo Cele's Mother on the right Sindisiwe Nxumalo together with her relative Zamile Cele mourning the passing of Lungelo Cele. PICTURE: LEARNERS LICENCE

Disabled mother sees son drown

By Nkululeko Nene Time of article published Jan 27, 2015

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Durban -

A mother, who cannot walk, frantically crawled to her son’s lifeless body after hearing that he had drowned at a swimming pool on Sunday.

And despite her desperate attempts to “wake him up”, it was not to be.

Sindisiwe Teresa Nxumalo of Folweni, south of Durban, told on Monday of the heartache she felt at seeing her only son, Lungelo, 23, lying dead by the side of the pool and the bleakness of life without him.

Disabled Nxumalo, who gets around by crawling, was outside the King Senzangakhona public swimming pool in BB section in uMlazi on Sunday when her son drowned in the deep end of the pool.

Nxumalo said that his death had left a “deep scar” in her heart after she had invested all her disability grant for her unemployed son to have a better future.

He was due to go to the University of Cape Town and was due to leave early next month.

Recalling the horror of seeing her son lying by the pool, she said:

“I crawled towards him, shouting his name. I tried to wake him up but he did not respond. I wish I could die and forget about this pain I am feeling now.

“I do not know what I will be without him. This emptiness… I think death is an answer. I expected him to bury me when I die but now it is the other way around.”

Nxumalo expressed her anger after the mortuary van took more than two hours to collect her son’s body.

“I suffered more trauma watching his body changing into greyish colour because of the delay. I would have had some peace if he was swallowed by huge waves at sea,” she sobbed.

Nxumalo’s neighbour, Niniza Mzotho, whose husband transported them in his bakkie to have a picnic at the pool, said once at the pool, they had a braai before going inside.

After the meals three boys, including Lungelo, paid the R9 entrance fees and went inside.

A few minutes later, she was called inside to witness Cele being pulled out the pool with lifeguards trying to resuscitate him.

“It was difficult seeing him in that position. Chunks of meat as well as a lot of water were pumped out his non-responding body. After about 30 minutes, paramedics took over from the lifeguards. They shook their heads and told us he was no more,” Mzotho said.

The Daily News spoke to witnesses outside the swimming pool yesterday who said Cele arrived with about 10 other people, including adults, to have a braai under a tree.

The witnesses claimed the group was drinking alcohol and one man, who did not want to be named, said he saw Cele take a “couple of swigs.

“The day ended in a saddest way,” one said, adding it was not the fault of the lifeguards.

But the drowned man’s mother and the neighbour denied that Cele had been drunk when he drowned.

“He did not drink or smoke: it was the others who had consumed alcohol,” they both said.

eThekwini spokesman, Thabo Mofokeng, said it was an unfortunate incident.

He confirmed there was sufficient supervision at the pool and said an internal investigation was being conducted.

SAPS spokesman, Major Thulani Zwane, confirmed that an inquest docket was opened at Bhekithemba SAPS.

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Daily News

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