'Happy birthday, boy': Search for Khaya Magadla enters day 8

The boys father said he remained hopeful that his son’s body would be found.

The manhole in Soweto where six-year-old Khaya Magadla fell has been covered. Photo: Abigail Javier/Eyewitnes News

JOHANNESBURG - Monday marks the eighth day since Khaya Magadla from Dlamini, in Soweto, fell into a manhole at a recreational park - just meters from his home.

It is also his seventh birthday. Despite relentless efforts by emergency personnel – there’s been no sign of the boy.

Magadla’s father said he remained hopeful that his son’s body would be found.

A visibly drained Kholekile Magadla shares what he would have said to his son Khaya as they would be celebrating his sixth birthday.

“I would have said to him happy birthday, boy and tell him daddy loves him very much as always and maybe give him R1 because that’s the money he knew.”

Instead, the father who has been at every search point as the mission to retrieve the little boy’s body entered a second week said he prepared for the worst.

“I understand that it’s sewage and there are chemicals and stuff - but it’s what I believe that God and our ancestors will make it possible for us to recognise him."

With 8km of the sewer line now searched emergency personnel have had approximately 6km to explore.

Meanwhile, Emergency Management Services spokesperson Robert Mulaudzi said despite a sense of despair, he remained resolute and committed to bringing Khaya home to his family.