Johannesburg - Lucia Seboko was meant to be enjoying the weekend with her son after his first week at his new primary school.
Instead, she spent Friday at a mortuary awaiting post-mortem results following the death of 12-year-old Keamogetswe “Keamo” Seboko.
“It’s not normal to have to bury your own child,” said a tearful Seboko.
His naked, lifeless body was discovered at the bottom of a swimming pool at Laerskool Bekker Primary in Magaliesburg on Wednesday.
It is alleged that Keamogetswe was swimming with around 60 other learners during school hours when he went missing. His body was discovered over half an hour after the rest of the children had left the swimming pool.
Seboko was informed by the school on Wednesday at around 6pm that her son had accidentally drowned.
But the mother suspects foul play. “We have just come back from the post-mortem and my child has got a cut besides his lip on the right cheek, he has a cut across the neck at the back, and also has got a cut on top of the head. This is not a drowning,” said a distraught Seboko.
“If it is a drowning incident, you would float because the water is in your lungs.
“I suspect somebody must have pinned him down. There was a lot of water in his belly, which kept him at the bottom of the pool.
“The police who attended to the incident said his underpants were found floating in the water.
“Your clothes don’t just come off when you drown. Somebody must have pulled his swimming shorts and jockey down. He was wearing cotton shorts with elastic. Cotton with elastic doesn’t leave your body in water, it clings to it, ” she added.
The children were allegedly under the supervision of a caretaker from the school when Keamogetswe went missing.
“When we went to the meeting at the school on the day of the incident, we demanded to find out where the caretaker was when this all happened and they couldn’t provide us with any answers. The principles and teachers said nobody saw what happened.”
Seboko said there was no way that her son could have drowned as he was a good swimmer. “The pool is not even as deep as the pool he normally swims in. I think that bullying happened at the school and either the caretaker wasn’t there or he was not looking where he was supposed to.”
She believed the school was concealing the circumstances around her son’s death. “We are all numb and completely devastated. I’m not angry at the death, but what I am angry about is the concealment of the truth by the principal and school when we met with them.
“They should not have concealed sad and important details to what happened. The only way we found out that Keamo’s clothes were found floating in the pool is because the investigating officer told us. The school didn’t. “He lost his clothes in the pool, he had sustained serious injuries, so why didn’t the school tell us about this?” The school refused to comment on the incident.
“I cannot give you any details. If you want any information, speak to the department of education,” said a spokesperson.
Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said on Friday night he was saddened by Keamogetswe’s death. Seboko said the school had refused to take any responsibility.
“Surely the caretaker had done a count on how many kids were in the pool, why didn’t he do a headcount when they left the pool? “Keamo was only discovered half an hour later after the next group of kids went to swim. Was the caretaker even there?
“I’m pretty sure there was a scuffle. Bullying is such a big thing in our house. My child has had these bullying issues even in his previous school.”
She described Keamogetswe as a happy and diligent child who had the world at his feet. “If I have to show you his report card from his previous school you will be blown away. He had done extremely well and was a top pupil. He was also an athlete and was crazy about soccer.
“His dream was to become a pilot and Bekker had all the facilities he needed to achieve his dream. He told us never to worry about his younger brother because he would do well and look after him.”
Seboko said her son was excited to start at his new school. “He had waited for this moment the entire December holidays. He nagged us to get his school uniform so when the day actually came for him to start at his new school he was ecstatic.”
Magaliesburg police confirmed the 12-year-old’s death and said they were investigating the incident. “We have ruled out any foul play for now but are investigating the incident,” said Constable Rebecca Phithi from the the Magaliesburg police’s corporate communications section.