Son’s pool death mystery

POOL VICTIM: Mtobi Peppeta points to the neighbour’s pool in which Inenceba Tiso drowned in Despatch at the weekend. Picture: BRIAN WITBOOI

Gareth Wilson

THE devastated family of a five-year-old autistic boy who drowned in a neighbour’s swimming pool are still trying to piece together the tragic incident.

Inenceba Tiso’s body was found submerged in a neighbour’s half-filled swimming pool on Saturday after he apparently climbed over the boundary wall and is presumed to have fallen in.

Described by family members as an adventurer and explorer, Inenceba loved water and enjoyed climbing.

The boy’s father, Dumisani, 36, and mother, Phiwe, 34, spent time at the state mortuary yesterday attempting to find clues as to how the drowning happened.

“He was my boy, my only son and my best friend. I just can’t believe it,” Dumisani said, choking back the tears after returning to their Despatch home.

Phiwe said her 18-month- old daughter, Buhle, kept asking where her brother was and when could he play with her.

Inenceba’s uncle, Mtobi Peppeta, 45, said everyone was still trying to come to terms with the drowning.

Peppeta, who was one of the first people at the house after being alerted by Inenceba’s parents who were in Port Elizabeth at the time of his disappearance, said: “No one can understand how this happened. The wall he had to climb over was more than 2m high. We think he climbed by using the little grooves in the wall and then fell over into the pool. He might have jumped in, but we are not sure. We are trying to piece the puzzle together.

“I was alerted by the family and rushed to the house at about 11am. We formed a search party and went to all the places he might be. We then split up and visited his daycare, the police station and all the nearby houses looking for him. We then came back home to discuss a way forward.”

Peppeta said that on arrival back home, Dumisani put a table against the wall and looked over into the neighbour’s yard.

“He then saw Inenceba under the water in the shallow end. The people from the daycare were with us and they climbed over. They got him out of the pool and passed his body over the wall to us. You could see that he was gone.

“I then took his body from Dumisani and lay him on the grass. The paramedics and police then arrived and said it was too late.”

Family helper Vuyiswa Jacobs, 50, who usually looks after the children, alerted the parents after failing to find the little boy when they left.

“He was here and then the next thing he was gone. I was in the garden with him and went inside and then he disappeared,” she said.

“It is a closed back garden but I thought he managed to get out somehow. I feel very bad and don’t know how this happened,” she said.

Police spokesman Warrant Officer Basil Seekoei said an inquest investigation was under way and no signs of foul play were evident at this stage.

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