Family accuses cops of dragging their feet in search

Given Mahlalela

Given Mahlalela

A family in Mpumalanga is accusing police of dragging their feet in finding the body of their 19-year-old son who was attacked by a crocodile while swimming in a river.

This comes after police allegedly lied to the family that they had retrieved the body of Philemon Ngobeni.

But when the family members went to the police station they learnt that nobody had been retrieved.

Instead, the police told them it was all a joke.

Ngobeni, who lived at Matsulu, outside Nelspruit, was attacked by a crocodile at Komatipoort Lower Bridge earlier last month.

He told his parents he was going to look for a job in Pretoria.

"After receiving the bad news from the police we were devastated and thought we were betrayed by the law ," said Emelinah Ngobeni, Philemon's sister.

She further said they were not even informed about any progress on the search since the incident occurred.

Police divers were called in to help retrieve the body but they did not get anything after a two-day search.

"We now blame the police for not searching for my brother's body in time.

"We spend sleepless nights not knowing where he is.

"We won't enjoy this festive season without him," said Emelinah Ngobeni, holding back tears.

However, Komatipoort police spokesman Constable Richard Khumalo refuted the allegations that they were not attending to the matter and not treating it with the seriousness it deserved.

Khumalo said the search for Philemon was still on although they had not found anything.