By Beatrice Shongwe
Hope of finding the 14-year-old-boy who disappeared in the Crocodile River in Matsulu on Friday, 27 January is fading away.
Mpumalanga police spokesperson Sargent Gerald Sedibe confirmed police divers had been working tirelessly since the incident was reported.
“Our police divers have been on the scene since the boy disappeared. Helicopters have also been used from Matsulu to Malelane to try and allocate the boy,” said Sedibe.
He said the boy, Vuyo Mathebula went to swim with friends when he disappeared in the river.
“We urge children, elders and parents to stay away from these rivers no matter how hot it is. It is very dangerous especially now with the heavy rains and the rivers are overflowing,” warned Sedibe.
It has been four days since the boy disappeared. The is one of the biggest rivers in the province and is popular for fishing.
Citizens express shock at the manner in people disappear in the river. A community member who wished not to be named said his brother disappeared in 2010. “This river is a place where most sangomas and traditional healers perform their rituals. When my brother disappeared, we didn’t have any idea how he drowned.”
Meanwhile, three girls aged 13, 14 and 15 drowned in Dludluma Trust in Tonga on Tuesday, 31 January.
According to Sedibe, the three girls were swimming with two boys who were rescued.
“The three went deep in that dam and they went missing inside the water. Community members recovered two bodies and SAPS Divers recovered the remaining one. They were certified dead by the paramedics on the scene. Families of the deceased were able to identify the bodies but their names have not been released yet,” said Sedibe. – African Eye News Service