Police dismiss claim they refused to remove child’s body from sewer

The police deployed 24,000 officers on the first day of the national lockdown. Photo: Ashraf Hendricks / GroundUp

Police say the body was eventually removed after a member of the community designed a wooden apparatus which was used to search and bring it up.

The police have dismissed a post on social media platforms claiming the police in Mmabatho, North West, could not, and refused to remove the body of a 4-year-old who fell into a sewer drain.

Police spokesperson Brigadier Sabata Mokgwabone said an inquest docket was opened for investigation after a 4-year-old boy fell inside a drain on Sunday, 17 May, at around noon, “though the matter was only reported to the police at about 14:28”.

Mokwabone said the incident happened at the premises of Sejankabo High in Mocoseng village, outside Mahikeng, North West.

“Subsequent to assessment of the scene by the police including a diver and local Fire Services officials, it was concluded that there was a need for diving services of which the team thereof was assembled to remove the body the following day, Monday, 18 May 2020.

“However, members of the community had a different view and demanded that the child be removed immediately, thus ignoring the danger associated with the exercise. The body was ultimately removed after a member of the community designed a wooden apparatus which was finally used to search and bring up the body which was then removed from the drain.

“While we are committed to provide services to the community, it is also important that each situation is assessed to avoid more and unnecessary loss of lives. Depending on the situation, specialists, and in this instance, divers were recommended.”

(Compiled by Makhosandile Zulu)

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