Six year old drowns in canal

The stormwater canal that runs past Extension 7, among others, has claimed the lives of at least four children after heavy rains. Photo: Selogile Leshage

The Ikageng police are investigating an inquest case after a 6-year-old boy drowned in a water canal on Monday.

According to Warrant Officer Ishmael Mohutsiwa, the police spokesperson, the police were called to the scene at the Eskom site in Ext. 11 at about 19:45.

 


Upon their arrival, they found the diving team searching the water canal. Moments later, an unidentified woman pointed to where the body was and notified the police.
‘They found a boy wearing a jacket and red shirt in the water. The body was taken out of the canal and handed over to the ERMS who declared him dead and took him to the mortuary. The boy was identified as Boitshoko Malekane from Ext 6,’ said Mohutsiwa.
In March 2016, the Herald reported that the same canal had already claimed the lives of four children.
In 2013, Maria Mnanzana lost her 8-year-old son, Mosimanegape Peter Mothabe, in the canal near Ext. 7.
The angry mother said Tlokwe City Council had promised her countless times that it would barricade the water canal properly to avoid further deaths. ‘They once put a fence around it but it was useless. Do they want another child to drown before they act?’ she fumed.
At the time, the councillor, Stone Matlhabe, accused the then Tlokwe City Council of dragging its feet in addressing the issue.
‘I have reported this hazard many times. Do they want another child to die? I have also told them that this canal is environmentally unhealthy. I usually chase the children away when they play near the canal after heavy rains,’ he said at the time.
When asked why there were no barricades and when the municipality proposed to do anything about the hazard, Tlokwe’s spokesperson, Mr William Maphosa said fencing had been erected on both sides of the canal in the past.
‘These fences have been vandalised every time the municipality has erected them. The municipality is currently working on a new storm water master plan and is considering two options to safeguard the community. The first one is to cover the existing canal with concrete slabs.
The other would be to erect a clear view fence on either side of it.’
Maphosa concluded that the Department of Infrastructure would have to budget for the implementation of either option.
Two years down the line, Maphosa had not responded to further questions in time for the deadline.

 

  AUTHOR
Selogile Leshage
Journalist

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