DEVASTATED family members of an eight-year-old boy who went missing while swimming before Christmas have not given up hope of finding him, or at least his body.
The search by his family and the police continues for Nkonzo Nzuza of Cekeni area in Eshowe on the North Coast of KwaZulu-Natal. He was last seen by his family when he left home to fetch water on December 23 last year.
His mother Nokuthula Zulu has spent sleepless nights since his mysterious disappearance.
"He left home to fetch water from the Mhlathuze River, which is not far from home," Zulu said.
"He was with his friend Ayanda Qwabe but never returned. When I later enquired about his whereabouts, Ayanda told us that they had decided to swim since it was very hot.
"After a while, Ayanda decided to go home but Nkonzo wanted to stay a while and swim more, that was the last time he was seen.
"We have searched everywhere but to no avail," his devastated mother said.
A search was conducted at the river but Nkonzo could not be found.
His clothes were still lying on the river bank but there was no sign of him.
Eshowe police spokesperson Captain Tinkie van Vuuren said the police had also searched everywhere but could not find the body.
"It was feared that Nkonzo had possibly drowned or that he had been attacked by a crocodile that frequented the area," she said.
Van Vuuren said the police conducted a search along the river bank but due to the threat of the crocodile could not send divers to search for the body. They had hoped the body would eventually surface within a few days if Nkonzo had drowned.
"But now we are looking at all possibilities. It doesn't look like he had drowned. Anything could have happened, which is why we are continuing the search," she said.