Picture: Mcebo Mpungose

Durban - Rescue services have recovered the lifeless body of 10-year-old Mnotho Mlotshwa, who had been trapped in the rubble after his house collapsed on Tuesday. 

The fierce Durban storms caused a low-cost house in Umlazi to collapse.

A woman, believed to be an aunt of the boy, began to wail when news of the boys death spread among the distraught and shaken community.

Mnotho's body was found trapped beneath tree logs, an old lawnmower and heavy debris. 

His rescue required a considered effort from the community and rescue services, who have been working on the scene for at least 6 hours. 

Earlier on Tuesday, a video of a low cost house collapsing in Umlazi went viral. Before the collapse of the house seen in the video, at least five other houses had collapsed and were subsequently swept away. 

Mnotho was in one of the affected houses with his 11-year-old cousin, Aphe.

They were swept away by about 10 metres. The cousin, Aphe, survived.

Earlier on Tuesday, the provincial Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Department said at least 23 people had been killed in the violent storm. The department expected the death toll to rise. 

A station commander of the fire department said officials on the ground were not permitted to speak to the media. Numerous call to the division commander were not successful.

The men searching for Mnotho’s body indicated they had located the body and were still busy on the scene. 

An aunt of Mnotho was comforted by neighbours, who held her tight and consoled her. 

The rescue services have since cordoned off the area.

Mnotho’s uncle, Lucky Mncube, who had remained hopeful he would be found alive, looked morosed. 

He said he wished the mortuary van would arrive soon, but he said he understood because lots of areas affected.

Sunday Tribune 

* Story has been updated.