Reiger Park mom demands justice after her 2 sons die while playing at mine site
The boys took a dip in the rainwater that had pooled around the old mine sand not knowing that the sinking granules underneath would endanger their lives. It's understood that when her 7-year-old son started sinking in the sand, her 9-year-old boy sacrificed his own life to try and save him.
JOHANNESBURG - A grieving Boksburg mother has described to Eyewitness News how she lost both her sons in a tragedy at a mine dump in Reiger Park.
Chezelle Peters said that her children joined their friends for a dip at a nearby mine dump last month, without any adult supervision and without their parents' knowledge.
It's understood that when her 7-year-old son started sinking in the sand below, her 9-year-old boy sacrificed his own life to try and save him.
The devastated mother is now seeking justice, insisting that the tragedy could have been prevented if the area had been secured.
Eyewitness News reached out to the mining company, who chose not to respond to the list of questions for now as an internal investigation was under way.
VIDEO: Reiger Park - A community in turmoil
It's a hot summer's day and children in Reiger Park have two options to cool down - they can either visit the public swimming pool a few kilometers away and pay R5 to get in or they can visit the dangerous, privately-owned mine dump known locally as the Dooms to take a dip in the contaminated rainwater just a stone's throw away from their homes.
This is where 7-year-old Wyatt Trollip and his 9-year-old brother, Nasri, died just three weeks ago.
"I always said: 'Don't go to the Dooms, that place will swallow you' and ironically that's what happened," Peters said.
The boys took a dip in the rainwater that had pooled around the old mine sand not knowing that the sinking granules underneath would put their lives in danger.
Peters said that she’s been told that her eldest, Nasri, tried to pull his younger brother out of the sinking sand but he too got stuck and died.
"Nasri didn't die in vain, he tried to help his brother - that's what I always tell him: 'look after your brother' and he did what his mother said," Peters recalled.
When her boys did not return home that afternoon, Peters realised that something was terribly wrong.
She recalled the panic that set in when she realised her sons were not home at the usual time.
"It's out of character for them to go to places that they're not supposed to," Peters explained.
She reported them missing with police and called the community to help with a search.
GALLERY: Reiger Park residents raise safety fears after death of two children
The next day, the brothers' shoes and clothes were found next to the site where they drowned in the sinking sand.
Peters said that their deaths could have been prevented if there was a fence and better security to keep children away from the dangerous site.
"Just give me an apology. From our side it's negligence," Peters said.
Peters said that she was not bitter or angry with anyone and she felt proud that her boys tried to help each other.
But she did not want another mother or father to have to go through the same nightmare of losing their children and is now advocating for better security and infrastructure in the area.
"Justice for me and my children would be if they could man up to their neglect on their own property and make sure that this doesn't happen to the next child also," Peters said.
Eyewitness News drove around the area to see how easy it was to access the Dooms.
With no proper fencing or security to keep children out of the dangerous site, it is any parent's nightmare.
Reiger Park parents are living in renewed fear following this tragedy, like grandmother, Lydia Kruger, who said that her young grandchildren had also been swimming at the mine.
"The children are swimming. Every day I have to stand here by the stairs and shout at my grandsons. I even went there many times to beat them up inside," Kruger said.
The community has raised the safety and security issue with authorities, the mine and the Mineral Resources Department for years now asking for a fence to be erected, however, no one seems to be taking the request seriously.