3259 2011.2.18 Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens: grounds staff and investigating police officers look at the waterfall and pool near which a 13 year-old schoolgirl drowned. The youngster slipped away with friends during a school trip to the gardens, walked into the water and was dragged under the rocks by the force of the waterfall. On the right is the "No Swimming" sign. Picture: Cara Viereckl

Johannesburg -

A family of three died when they fell 30 metres down the Rietfontein waterfall in Mpumulanga, Beeld reported on Monday.

The mother and father, who were childhood sweethearts, as well as their only daughter, aged 13, were on holiday when they tried to cross the river at the top of the waterfall, on a farm 5km outside Sabie, on Friday.

The family, from Benoni, were apparently walking hand-in-hand when one person slipped, causing them all to fall down the edge of the 30 metre waterfall.

A farmworker spotted the mother's body in the late afternoon. Police divers found the daughter's body around midnight. The father was found on Saturday. They had all sustained serious head injuries.

Karen Steyn, the father's niece, said they died together “because one would not live without the other”.

Beeld named the family as Pieter and Adele Prinsloo and their daughter Shante. - Sapa