Cape Town - 121226 - A 6 year old boy, Bukho XXX, from Lower-Crossroads, was knocked off his 14 year old sister's back by a big wave, while playing on some rocks on a beach, in Mouille Point, on Christmas Day. REPORTER: JANIS KINNEAR. PICTURE: THOMAS HOLDER

Cape Town -

A Nyanga family is reeling after a six-year-old girl was swept out to sea and drowned near Mouille Point on Christmas Day.

Bukho Ntsondwa’s body was retrieved from the water along the beachfront at the corner of Bill Peters Drive early on Wednesday after an extensive search.

Late Tuesday afternoon, while on a picnic with her mother Nomela Ntsondwa, Bukho was swept off the rocks.

Emergency staff were called out to search for the girl, but their efforts were hampered by rough seas and poor visibility. The search was called off on Tuesday night.

When the Cape Argus visited the girl’s home in Lower Crossroads on Wednesday, family expressed shock and disbelief at the incident.

Uncle Zolile Alfred Mabaso said his sister was unable to speak to the media, still “traumatised” after it was confirmed the body that was found was indeed her daughter.

He said the family was clinging to the hope she would be found alive.

Nomela Ntsondwa, accompanied by her four children, had returned home from the Eastern Cape earlier in December to join her mother for Christmas festivities.

Older sibling, Nangamso Ntsondwa, 14, recalled how she had carried Bukho on her back when she had taken a walk on the rocks.

“I didn’t even know what happened. The waves were high and went over us and I fell, and the baby fell down into the water,” she said.

She then hurried to their mother in a fit of tears, screaming for help.

“My mother still waited long… she thought my sister might still appear.”

Social workers would be sent to visit the family to provide trauma counselling, said Wilfred Solomons-Johannes, spokesman for the city’s disaster risk management centre.

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Cape Argus