Boy (11) drowns in Verulam river while going to soccer practice

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Boy (11) drowns in Verulam river while going to soccer practice

Phoenix Durban

Eleven-year-old Ntando Nzuza, who passed away.

Eleven-year-old Ntando Nzuza lost his life after heavy currents swept him under water, while attempting to cross a river, last Saturday.
Nthando, a grade six pupil at Verulam Primary School, was on his way to the Verulam Recreational Grounds with his friends, when the tragedy occurred.
Ntando and his six friends were on their way to soccer practice when they decided to cross the river separating Temple Valley and Coniston, as a detour to the Verulam Recreational Grounds.
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The heavy rains over the past few days, around Verulam and surrounding areas, led to the rise of the river, forcing Ntando and his friend to lose their balance.
Ntando’s friend managed to grab onto a tree, while Ntando got swept under water. The youngster was the only one who did not make it.
Seeing that their buddy was in trouble, one of the friends ran to a nearby house for help and a local security company, the SAPS and Metro Police Search and Rescue Units were immediately dispatched to the scene.
The search for the pupil was called off after the rise of water levels and heavy currents.
The search was resumed in the early hours of Sunday morning, where the body was recovered on the banks of another river on Valley View Drive in Riyadh.
The victim was found 300 metres from where he was last seen by his friend.

Speaking to the Phoenix Sun, Thabiso, Ntando’s older brother, revealed that his talkative brother was not so talkative on the morning of his disappearance.
“When he left for his soccer practice, a part of me felt like telling him not to go, but I didn’t,” Thabiso said.
The distraught brother went on to add that Ntando’s friend, who was with him during the tragedy explained to the family about how hesitant and scared Ntando was about crossing the river without adult supervision.
Breaking down while expressing what he will miss about his little brother, Thabiso said that he will miss his younger brother’s ever smiling face and laugh.
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“I will miss the times he would prank me about how much trouble I was in with a certain teacher. Ntando would wait till I was teary-eyed before announcing that it was all a joke,” an emotional Thabiso said.
In preparation of Ntando’s funeral, the family is appealing to the public for some assistance.
Persons who wish to assist the family may contact Thabiso Nzuza on 073-657-1470 or 078-791-6185. Lt Col Thulani Zwane of provincial police confirmed that an inquest case was opened at Verulam SAPS.
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