Barely a metre from her front door a mother was traumatised to find the lifeless body of her 10-year-old son hanging from a belt.
“I ran from my bedroom where I had been sleeping and when I got to the front door I just saw him hanging there,” Claudia van Wyk said after finding the body of her son, Caydon van Wyk, hanging by a belt from a wall in their front yard of their Bella Vista home on Saturday morning.
According to reports from Die Burger, it was suspected that Caydon was attempting to play the game “hang-hang”.
This game is most commonly played by young children, who attempt to cut off their air supply temporarily by tying something around their neck.
However, police spokesman Frederick van Wyk said he could not confirm any “speculations” until a post-mortem was completed.
“We are waiting on the autopsy reports to determine the cause of death,” he said.
Claudia van Wyk said she was asleep inside the house when the incident occurred.
“My six-year-old daughter, Keisha-Lee van Wyk, woke me up frantically screaming ‘Come and see what happened to boeta outside.’ His sister wouldn’t stop shaking after seeing everything. I didn’t know what to do, I shouted for help because he wasn’t even moving. I still can’t believe that he is gone,” she said.
Family and friends gathered outside the family’s house as his father, Clint Brink, stood clutching a small photograph of his son while Claudia van Wyk spoke to a neighbour, pointing to a chair in the corner in front of their house where Caydon was found.
“Words can’t explain what we are feeling right now. Everyone here knew him because he was friendly and very talkative. His friends in the road who... were trying to resuscitate him are all sad. Even his school teacher came after she heard what happened and said they would miss him because he (was the one who) made the jokes in class,” she said.
Brink said the family was in a state of shock.
“I still don’t know what exactly happened. I left early to go into town and he was still sitting on a chair outside, drinking tea. When I came back after 10am I just saw a lot of people standing in the road outside my house,” he said.
Neighbour Liezel Mapling described the “heartbreaking” scene she found after hearing screams and calls for help from next door.
“I heard Claudia screaming for someone to help her. When I ran across, I saw that she and another man were taking Caydon’s body from the side of the wall. I searched his neck for a pulse, but I couldn’t find it so I did mouth-to-mouth to try and see if he would breathe,” she said.
Mapling said their street quickly filled with community members. “The last we saw he was outside with his sister and a few of their friends, but we still don’t know what happened.”
Caydon’s parents said funeral arrangements would be made once post-mortem results had been released.