By Neelam Rahim
The body of Khayalethu Magadla, a 6- year-old who slipped and fell into an open man hole in Dlamini Park, Soweto, on 12 June, has been found.
Following 20 days of intense hunt for Khayalethu, his breathless body was found at the Eldorado Park Cemetery wastewater plant on Saturday afternoon.
Acting Chief of Emergency Services, Noma Mjali, says it took this long to recover the child’s body because the rescue team had to go through the sewer pipes from where the child fell to where he was found on Saturday. She further explains that they discovered that the water levels were hazardous when they got to the Johannesburg wastewater treatment plant.
In a media statement released today, Johannesburg EMS spokesperson Nana Radebe Kgiba said Magadla was found in the splitter chamber on the first manhole towards the sump near the cemetery.
“Today at about 12:23 pm, Khayalethu Magadla was recovered by a rescue and recovery team comprising of 35 EMS, hazmat and urban search and technicians, water unit, K- 9 unit and air wing, Delta Scan, ambulances from Gauteng province and 60 members of Joburg Water. ”
She added that the EMS specialised team searched through the gruelling pipeline system.
“The urban search and rescue teams have covered at least 20 km from Dlamini to Eldorado Park.”
Radebe- Kgiba said the city was committed to aiding the family after the tragic event.
“Joburg Water has assisted immensely with drainage of water from different sewer systems. We send our deepest condolences to the family in this time of difficulty and hope they find closure now that Khayalethu is found,” she said.