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Child, 3, dies after father 'throws him in river'

A family tragedy unfolded at the weekend near Warden in the Free State. Stock photo.
A family tragedy unfolded at the weekend near Warden in the Free State. Stock photo.

A family tragedy unfolded at the weekend with the death of a three-year-old boy, allegedly at the hands of his father, who then drowned himself.

The 25-year-old man had first accosted his ex-girlfriend, strangling her on two occasions. She survived the assault.

Warrant officer Mmako Mophiring said on Monday the Sasolburg police search and rescue team and the Welkom diving unit retrieved the bodies of the father and son from the Cornelis River near Ezenzeleni, Warden, in the Free State.

On Saturday the father had an argument with the 20-year-old mother of his toddler, said Mophiring. He went to her home, where he tried to strangle her.

“She started walking to the police station in Warden to report him but he followed them [the mother and child]. He finally caught them near Cornelis River before crossing over the bridge. He again tried to strangle and throw her in the river but failed as she managed to escape,” said Mophiring

The toddler was left with his father. A community member allegedly witnessed the father throwing his son into the river and jumping in after him.

“It's a sad incident for the families, especially the mother of the child. I humbly request women experiencing any form of abuse to break the silence and report the abusers immediately,” said provincial police commissioner Lt-Gen Baile Motswenyane.


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