The father of 1-year-old Ivakele Xolose who was found dead in a water canal in Langa about 10 metres from his home, has detailed how he found the body of his son.
According to IOL, the father Siyabonga Ngwevela, 39, said he was informed about his missing son on Monday, May 24.
“At the time he went missing, I was at work. I quickly rushed home, and the community assisted us (family) with the search,” he said.
When they heard that the child had been playing with other children not far from the canal, they started searching the canal until 21:00 on Monday.
They tried to report the matter to the police but they were told that the officers at the police station were not trained to be divers.
Ngwevela went back home from the police station, and on arrival, he was informed that the people from the community who were assisting them with the search were looking for him.
“I went out looking for them, and I saw them at the scene, standing, as I was coming through the water canal still searching. I saw my child in the water, so I took him out,” said Ngwevela.
Reports earlier this week indicated that Ivakele’s body was found floating in a canal on Tuesday morning.
According to EWN, chairperson of Langa Safety Patrol, Bandile Gcuwa, said the little boy had been last spotted while laying with his friends around 15:00 on Monday.
“We suspect that, while they were playing, Ivakele slipped and fell into the canal nearby,” Gcuwa was quoted as saying.
A News24 report said the family was traumatised by Ivakele’s death and were currently undergoing psychological counselling.
The report quoted the Langa Community Police Forum as saying the case was reported to Langa police station but it was handed over to the Bishop Lavis police station.
“Langa Community Police Forum is saddened by how the case has been handled by the assigned constable at the Bishop Lavis police station,” the Langa Community Police Forum said in a statement.
“We shall escalate the matter to hold the officer accountable for not assisting the family and the community in searching for the missing child.”
Investigations into the child’s death were under way.