POLICE in Bulawayo are investigating the sudden death of a 13-year-old teenager who drowned at Emagodini pools in Pumula South, Bulawayo after being sent by his mother to charge her phone at a neighbour’s house on New Year’s day.
Bulawayo police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Nomalanga Msebele confirmed the incident yesterday and identified the victim as Thapelo Abel Dube, a Grade 7 learner.
“On January 1, at 11am, the deceased’s mother asked Thapelo Abel Dube to take her cell phone to their neighbour so that it can be put on the charger. The now deceased took the cell phone and left it at their neighbour’s place of residence, but he did not return home,” Msebele said.
She said the following day the mother tried to locate him at a friend’s house, but was informed that the boy had asked his friend to accompany him to the pools to swim.
“The mother tried to locate her son at his friends’ place of residence, but one of his friends stated that the now deceased passed by his place of residence and asked him to accompany him to Emagodini Pools, Pumula South, Bulawayo for swimming, but he (refused), (saying) that he cannot swim.
“Armed with this information the deceased’s mother and some of her neighbours proceeded to Emagodini Pools and conducted a search around the area. During their search, they saw Dube’s khaki shorts, a sweater and a pair of blue open shoes on top of a rock,” she said.
Msebele said the Police Sub Aqua Unit attended the scene and the boy’s body was retrieved in one of the pools near where the boy’s clothes were found.
“No injuries were noted on the body. The body was ferried to United Bulawayo Hospitals for post-mortem,” she said.
Msebele called on residents to be extra cautious when near the pools and urged elders to chase away children near the area.
“Parents and guardians are urged to always monitor children under their care not to play in these pools. Passers-by are urged to chase away such children if seen playing in such pools, so as to avoid similar incidents especially during the rainy season,” she added.