Umlazi residents and members of the fire department search for the body of Mnotho Mlotshwa. Picture: Sihle Mlambo/Sunday Tribune.
Umlazi residents and members of the fire department search for the body of Mnotho Mlotshwa. Picture: Sihle Mlambo/Sunday Tribune.
Picture: Sihle Mlambo/Sunday Tribune.
Picture: Sihle Mlambo/Sunday Tribune.
Picture: Sihle Mlambo/Sunday Tribune.
Picture: Sihle Mlambo/Sunday Tribune.
Picture: Sihle Mlambo/Sunday Tribune.
Picture: Sihle Mlambo/Sunday Tribune.

Durban - Members of an Umlazi community, along with rescue services, were hard at work digging and searching for the body of a 10-year-old who was trapped in his home during the storm.

The 10-year-old boy, Mnotho Mlotshwa, is feared dead. He was buried in the rubble when several RDP houses collapsed on Tuesday morning after a fierce storm swept through Durban from Monday night.

Mnotho’s uncle, Lucky Mncube, said he struggled to sleep on Monday night during the storm. He left home early on Monday to attend work related to local community structures, only to return to collapsed houses in his community.

“A rock collapsed at the top, and it came down with force and struck my house. There were two children in the house and they were trapped. One of them managed to escape after the house had been swept away several metres,” he said.

A rescue worker who was not permitted to speak to the media said the child was feared dead. Rescue services were called onto the scene around 9am when the incident happened.

Lucky Mncube, uncle of the missing boy Mnotho Mlotshwa speaks to IOL. Video: Sihle Mlambo/SundayTribune.

Mncube said the family however remained hopeful Mnotho would be found alive.

“We remain hopeful we will find him still alive, we pray that Shembe keeps him safe where he is,” he said.

The affected area was strewn with furniture, clothes, television sets and represented a sign of lives left in ruins by the destruction of the heavy rains.

People were on edge, looking on nervously at gigantic rocks which appeared to be in the brink of falling and causing further destruction to houses nearby.

Residents said at least five houses collapsed on Tuesday morning, and two more houses were on the brink of collapse as the foundations were giving way as light showers continued on Tuesday. 

According to community members, residents of the houses on the brink of collapse had been evacuated.

In another area of Umlazi, also in H section, a man was believed to have died when a retainer wall collapsed, crushing him to death.

Queries have been sent to the police to confirm the incident.

Sunday Tribune

* Story has been updated to reflect Lucky Mncube as Mnotho's uncle.