Boy, 11, drowns in Swartkops

AN outing to the sea for a group of boys from Wells Estate ended tragically when an 11-year-old downed in the Swartkops River yesterday.

Emihle Bele, a pupil at Motherwell’s Dumani Primary School, was part of a group of six friends who decided to go for a swim.

Police spokesman Captain Andre Beetge said the drowning happened at about 3pm.

“Six friends from Wells Estate went to swim under the Swartkops River Bridge on the N2 . . . The tide was very strong and the little boy got into trouble. Unfortunately his friends could not save him.”

Bystanders at the river reported the incident to the police and divers were called to retrieve the body.

Shocked family and friends spoke fondly of Emihle as a lovely boy who was always willing to run errands for the elderly in the community. They also spoke of his love of water.

His traumatised father, Thembinkosi, said: “I last saw him this morning when I was going to work. He had just returned from the rural area where he spent his school holiday . . . I am very shocked.”

-Hendrick Mphande

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