Family blames municipal workers for not covering hole

Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

The family of 20-month-old Thabo Seisa, who drowned in a hole in Acaciavale in Ladysmith, is devastated.

Thabo was playing in the yard at his home when he fell into the hole last week.

His grandmother, Veronica Seisa, said Thabo was following cattle around the yard when he went missing.

"We searched for him for hours until his mother found him floating in a 1,5m deep hole that was left uncovered by municipality workers. The hole had filled up with water from a nearby leaking pipe," said Seisa.

"Losing a child as young as him is devastating, let alone when he dies because of someone's incompetence and negligence. It's unforgivable," Seisa said.

Despite a visit by the deputy mayor Vincent Madlala, the family still wants answers.

"Losing such a young life like this is painful. We need an explanation from the municipality as to why they left such a dangerous hole not cordoned off or covered."

Seisa said municipal officials acknowledged that her grandson's death was due to negligence by the workers.

"We would love to see action taken against the workers who caused my grandson's death.

"We are in mourning because of their negligence and they need to face the consequences of their actions.

"He was a healthy and a bright child," Seisa said, adding that Thabo would be buried tomorrow.

Madlala said the municipality had met yesterday and discussed the matter.

"We did not come to any conclusion. I met the family last week after the incident but we did not discuss the issue in detail because they were in pain."

Madlala said the officials would meet with the family today to discuss the matter.

He refused to comment on charges that the child died as a result of the municipality's negligence.

Police spokesman Captain Charmaine Struwig said police have opened an inquest docket on the matter.