Families blame faulty equipment for children's deaths

The families of three boys who drowned in Hammanskraal in Tshwane say they shouldn't have died. They say emergency services turned up with faulty equipment. Tshwane Mayor Randall Williams spoke with eNCA's Jane Dutton. Courtesy of #DStv403

PRETORIA - Faulty equipment may have cost the lives of three boys who drowned in Hammanskraal in Pretoria this weekend.

Family members are now calling for help.

The three died in an incomplete stormwater trench after it became waterlogged after heavy rains.

READ: Three children drown in stormwater trench in Hammanskral

Samuel Maphosa (10) drowned with two of his friends, Kutlaono Mkhwanazi and Tshepo Machete.

Maphosa's mother Joanna asked for help.

"Please, who's going to help us, we are in trouble, no one is helping us. We are in threat, we are in threat."

READ: Gauteng authorities warn of possible flash flooding

The families claim rescuers had faulty equipment.

Maphosa said, "I asked them if they could do something to resuscitate the kids but they did nothing. They put the machine on one child's chest, they did nothing, then they said the batteries are flat. I asked them why they had brought equipment that is dysfunctional. I asked them if they are here just to tell us that our children have died."

Barricades were placed to prevent people from falling into the trench but the families say the children died while playing on these very barriers.

READ: Two teens drown in Soweto

The Mkhwanazi family representative, Christina Mabasa said, "there was no space that was barricaded where they took the children out. It was empty, there was nothing that shows it had been closed off. It was not secured. "

The community said the stormwater trench is left unmonitored even when there are heavy rains, posing a risk to anyone walking by.

The City of Tshwane said action will be taken.

Executive mayor Randall Williams said, "the site engineer, safety officers and contractor have been summoned. The Tshwane Metro Police Department has been tasked to patrol and secure the site."

Police are also investigating the incident.


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