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Alexandra boy drowns in swimming pool while on soccer tour in Palestine

An 11-year-old boy from Alexandra drowned in a swimming pool in Palestine.
An 11-year-old boy from Alexandra drowned in a swimming pool in Palestine.
Image: Paul Fleet/123rf.com/ File photo

An 11-year-old boy from Alexandra, Kabelo Masalesa, has drowned in a swimming pool in Palestine during his football team’s visit to that country for a tournament.

The department of sport, arts and culture (DSAC) and the Gauteng department of sport, arts, culture and recreation (GDSACR) have expressed their sadness over the tragedy.

Masalesa's team is one of 18 young SA football teams from Alexandra and Cape Town now in Palestine to participate in a soccer tournament.

The teams left on July 13 and are set to return on July 21.

The national and provincial departments said they were gathering details about the incident.

“In so far as ascertaining specific details about what occurred, officials of DSAC and GDSACR, as well as the high commission of SA in both Jordan and Palestine, have been on the ground engaging the relevant Palestinian authorities who will facilitate the provision of a report about the incident,” they said in a statement. 

Senior officials met the family of the deceased and initiated interventions to ensure all necessary support was provided to them.

“To this extent, through support from the departments of international relations and co-operation and home affairs, family members are supported to travel to Palestine and secure the return of Kabelo to SA.”

According to the DSAC, they were approached by the Palestinian embassy to support the Alexandra Northrand Local Football Association's participation in the Palestine Free Soccer Tournament.

“This tournament involves soccer matches between the Alexandra soccer team and the Cape Town soccer team against Palestinian football clubs. The tournament is a three-phase occasion implemented in SA and Palestine under the auspices of the concerned football clubs’ management.”

The department said it offered support to the team and covered flights for 28 people, team kit and equipment and also provided them with stipends. 


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