Kimberley - A two-year-old toddler died on Saturday after he apparently drowned in a plastic wash basin at his home in Ritchie.
The toddler lived in a three-room house with eight other family members under his grandmother’s care.
The little boy was apparently sitting next to his grandmother outside their house in Suiderkruis Street on Saturday and nobody noticed when he went into the house.
It is believed that that is when he found the plastic wash basin that was filled with water that his older cousin had used to bathe in.
Neighbours were shocked to hear the grandmother crying for help and asking for an ambulance to be called.
Upon rushing into her yard the neighbours found the boy lying motionless on the ground after his grandmother had apparently carried him outside.
They said that the grandmother looked confused.
The neighbours said they checked the boy’s pulse but could not feel anything.
A neighbour, Charlton van Wyk, said that he had tried to resuscitate the boy through performing CPR on him.
“He opened his eyes slightly before vomiting. When I was about to do another round of CPR a police officer arrived and told me to move away,” Van Wyk said. “What came out of his mouth and nostrils looked like a little bit of the water with pieces of chips in it.”
Beverly Meyers, one of the people to arrive at the scene first, said that they initially felt hope for the boy as it seemed he was responding to the CPR.
“After he vomited we felt a slight pulse. But then the police chased us away from him,” said Meyers.
Community members said that they were shocked that the boy could have drowned in such a small amount of water.
Meyers claimed that the community wanted to know why the body was moved before forensics had arrived.
Meyers added that she was also concerned as to how the bereaved family would deal with the situation financially as none of the family members were employed.
She said the family was already suffering from the previous day’s ordeal where the grandmother was robbed of her pension, ID and bank cards.
“A relative had already stepped in to buy them a small amount of groceries after the incident,” Meyers said.
She said that the grandmother was the full-time guardian of the toddler as his mother was staying somewhere near Jacobsdal.
Police Spokesperson Captain Olebogeng Tawana confirmed that the Modderrivier police have opened an inquest into the death of a two-year-old toddler.
“It is alleged that a two-year-old toddler drowned in a bath filled with water. The incident happened on Saturday at Motswedimosa, Ritchie,” said Tawana.