We hope Khaya Magadla's family will finally find closure - City of Joburg

The 6-year-old who fell into a manhole while playing with friends in Soweto last month, was found in one of the three pipelines leading out of the sewer split chamber on Sunday.

Picture: Khaya Magadla

JOHANNESBURG - The City of Joburg said is hopeful that the family of 6-year-old Khaya Magadla will finally find closure following the discovery of his body at a waste treatment plant near Eldorado Park cemetery.

Magadla, who fell into a manhole while playing with friends in Soweto last month, was found in one of the three pipelines leading out of the sewer split chamber on Saturday.

Various teams had been relentlessly searching for the missing boy for close to three weeks - before eventually handing the operation over to Joburg Water a few days ago.

After 20 days of an intense operation searching more than 30 manholes across the vast sewer network, Khaya Magadla’s lifeless body was retrieved in one of the waste pipelines near the Eldorado Park cemetery.

MMC for Public Safety in the City of Joburg David Tembe said little Khaya’s family had accepted he would not be found alive but was desperate to lay him to rest.

"Immediately they start crying, I mean even myself I felt like you know as a human being you see how the child looked like, it's touching they wanted closure."

Tembe said the search through the challenging pipeline system also put a strain on rescue personnel.

"I'm preparing for them to go for counselling because they were touched. There came a time when we thought the child was not here. But I said we have to find the child we promised the family. You could see in their face that they got hope in us."

After retrieving Magadla’s body some rescue teams who were relieved but also visibly distraught told Eyewitness News that they just couldn't face his family before finding his body.