Major General Jan Scheepers, the acting provincial police commissioner in Limpopo, appealed to parents, guardians and community members to protect children during the current rainy season. He said 39 people have drowned thus far, on Tuesday, 8 March.
POLICE DIVERS RETRIEVE BOY’S BODY
The most recent drowning took place on Sunday, 6 March in Praktiseer outside Burgersfort.
South African Police Service (SAPS) spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo said a 12-year-old, Thabang Mogofe, drowned in a “huge hole” that was reportedly dug by a road construction company.
“The incident was only reported yesterday on Monday, 07 March 2022. The Police Divers managed to retrieve the child’s body from the depth of 5 meters,” said Mojapelo.
10-YEAR-OLD DROWNS IN NTSIMA VILLAGE
On Saturday, 5 March, a 10-year-old boy drowned while swimming with friends in Ntsima Village.
The boy reportedly drowned at midday but the incident was only reported to police at 20:40. The SAPS search and rescue unit retrieved the boy’s body from a depth of three metres.
39 DROWNINGS TO DATE
The police commissioner said 39 people, including 15 children have drowned since the start of the rainy season. Some people drowned when their vehicles were washed away by strong waters, after attempting to cross flooded bridges; children mostly drowned while swimming.
“As a community, we can turn the situation around and stop these drownings by knowing where our children are playing, educate them to desist from swimming in hazardous waters and exercise extreme caution when walking or driving in flooded areas,” said Scheepers.
“I want to also take this moment to commend members of the Search and Rescue Unit who spend sleepless nights and days conducting various search and rescue missions in rivers, dams, mountains, manholes, pit toilets, streams and velds,” he concluded.