File picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA).

Rustenburg - A seven-year-old boy drowned in a ditch at Bojating, near Mogwase, northeast of Rustenburg, North West police said on Monday.

Provincial police spokesperson Colonel Adele Myburgh said the boy drowned in a ditch at a yard in the village. 

"The yard is fenced-off, there is nothing built in the yard, but there is a ditch filled with water. It seems the children in the neighbourhood like to go swimming there. Three boys went swimming and one got into trouble. People were called to help but the boy could not be seen, he was already under the water. A neighbour managed to retrieve the child, but unfortunately he had already drowned," said Myburgh. 

An inquest docket has been opened, she added. 

According to villagers, the boys were playing next to the ditch, which used to be a pit latrine.  The two boys alerted elders and the third child was found drowned.  

"The pit was deep; the man who retrieved the boy could not bend to pick him up, the water was up to his chest, close to the neck. He used his foot to lift him up to hip level and used his hands to lift him out of the water," said one man.

The children gained entry into the yard through a hole cut in the fence.

African News Agency (ANA)