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Body of Khayalethu Magadla found

Khayalethu Magadla's body was found on Saturday afternoon.
Khayalethu Magadla's body was found on Saturday afternoon.
Image: Antonio Muchave

The body of seven-year-old Khayalethu Magadla who fell into an open manhole in Soweto has been recovered.

Khayalethu's body was found on Saturday afternoon after an emotionally challenging search that took 21 days, marking an end to his family's plight of not knowing where he was.

After a 21-day long search by family, neighbours and rescue teams, Khaya's body was found in one of the three pipes leading out of the sewer split chamber towards the water treatment plant in Eldorado Park.

The Magadla family was called to the scene where they positively identified his body.

Confirming the recovery of the body was Johannesburg Emergency Services spokesperson, Nana Radebe who said: “The body has been positively identified as that of Khayalethu Magadla.”

Khaya had been playing with friends at Eco Park in Dlamini on June 12, when he vanished into a sewer manhole.

For days rescuers from the Johannesburg EMS, SAPS and Jo’burg Water, moved from one manhole to another struggling to find the boy’s body. There even speculations that he might have been abducted but his family believed he had fallen into the manhole. 

The search which was described by some rescuers as one of the most difficult searches ever, saw rescuers battle to enter the narrow manholes and sometimes relied on robotics and underwater cameras.

The Magadla family had almost lost hope of their little boy ever being found when rescuers completed the 13km search last week Saturday.

However the search for the boy continued as Johannesburg Water official and emergency teams on standby continued to probe the sewer system making the discovery of the body and bringing closure to the family.

The family was unavailable for comment.


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