Flooded rivers claim six lives in one week

Alex Matlala

Alex Matlala

A journey by three Limpopo children to pick peaches from a tree on the side of the valley ended tragically when two of them drowned yesterday.

This brings to six the number of children who have drowned in Limpopo rivers since last week.

According to police spokesman Inspector Lesiba Ramoshaba, the children were playing at Polokwane Extension 44 when they saw ripe peaches on the other side of the valley.

They apparently decided to go and pick the peaches.

But the children had to pass over an overflowing valley following the rains that fell in the province last week.

"Unfortunately two of the children drowned while trying to cross the valley.

"When police got to the scene, the children were already dead," said Ramoshaba.

The victims were identified as Knowledge Maluleke, 8, and Bakkie Lebepe, 9.

One of the children was rescued by a security guard who came to their rescue.

The guard told police that he heard children screaming and rushed to the scene, and when he got there he found them struggling to stay afloat.

The guard then called the police. "We have opened an inquest docket in connection with the deaths and investigations are continuing," he said.

Meanwhile, two more children drowned in Matha- batha River in Lebowa- kgomo on Saturday. Police spokesman Superintendent Mohale Ramatseba said the two children, aged 10 and 11, went to the river to swim when they drowned.

Their bodies were discovered by a passerby who notified the police.

In a separate incident, a six-year old boy in Giyani drowned while swimming in a river a fortnight ago.

Another child drowned in Bolobedu South while trying to cross a swollen river.

The eight-year-old was on his way to school when he drowned.

The Weather Bureau said yesterday that rains would continue to fall in Limpopo until March next year.