A stolen manhole cover has resulted in not only sleepless nights ,but tragedy and heartache for an Orange Farm family.
Six-year-old Khomanani Mawa’s body was recovered by rescue teams in a sewage system on Wednesday after he fell into a manhole near his home on Sunday while playing with friends.
His uncle Christopher Chaukesaid his body was swept through the sewer line from where he initially fell.
“When I came home, one of the children who was playing with my nephew came to alert me about his fall into the manhole,” he said.
“I quickly rushed to the scene and jumped into the manhole to see if I could find him in time but the water current was strong and deep as it came up to my neck”
Chauke said his nephew usually played at the back of the house near the manholes as that was the only field in the area the children could play at.
“There were multiple manholes in the area, approximately 10 that were always open.
My plea would be for the municipality to close and secure the manholes with heavy lids that cannot be stolen or opened by random people but rather be locked,” he said.
The boy’s grandfather, Obed Baloyi, said his death was a huge loss to the family as he was a lively boy who enjoyed people’s company.
“He was the first person to call out my name when he saw me enter the gate and was very intelligent,” he said.
Baloyi added that he shared a special bond with the boy and that the bright future he had ahead of him had been snuffed out.