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Tshwane officials investigate after 3 boys drown in stormwater trench

The children, two 10-year-olds and one nine-year-old, were found on Saturday by bystanders amid sustained downpours in Gauteng.

FILE: The South African Weather Service on 21 November 2020 warned of more possible storms and flooding across several parts of the country for the rest of this weekend. Provinces, including Gauteng and the Free State, are already battling extensive damage to roads and infrastructure due to the sustained downpours. Picture: @CityTshwane/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - The City of Tshwane on Sunday summoned contractors responsible for the construction of a stormwater trench in Hammanskraal where authorities found the bodies of three boys who are thought to have drowned there.

The children, two 10-year-olds and one nine-year-old, were found in Tambo extension 1 on Saturday by bystanders amid sustained downpours in Gauteng.

While authorities were still combing the scene to piece together what happened, preliminary investigations revealed that the children were playing in the trench after its barriers were blown open by the heavy rain.

Tshwane’s Roads and Transport MMC Dikeledi Selowa was expected to visit the bereaved families on Sunday.

“Last night MMC Selowa met with senior officials in the Roads and Transport Department, the regional executive director, the site project manager, and contractor.

“This morning the site engineer, safety officers, and the contractor have been summoned,” said Tshwane mayoral spokesperson Jordan Griffiths in a statement.

Griffiths said the MMC had tasked the Tshwane Metro Police Department to patrol and secure the site.

'A TRAGEDY BEYOND MEASURE'

Meanwhile, Tshwane Mayor Randall Williams said the incident was a tragedy beyond measure.

“The deaths of these young boys is a tragedy beyond measure. It is a devastating loss to the families, the community of Hammanskraal, and the whole of Tshwane,” Griffiths said.

He added: “I ask that all residents of the city take a moment today to offer their thoughts and prayers for the departed souls of these young boys and their families. Tshwane mourns for them. May their souls rest in peace.”

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