No action from MaP since the drowning of a 6-year-old a month ago

Issued by Bea Campbell-Cloete – DA Councillor Thabo Mofutsanyana District Municipality
24 Nov 2023 in Press Statements

Note to editors: Please find attached English and Afrikaans soundbites by Cllr Bea Campbell-Cloete and Sesotho by Cllr Moshe Lefuma.

Nearly a month after the drowning of a 6-year-old in an unsecured body of water in Maluti-a-Phofung Local Municipality, no action has been taken to safeguard the area.

On 28 October 2023, 6-year-old, Thapelo Neo Lefuma, passed away after he reportedly fell into an unsecured body of water near his home. The community of Mphatlalasane are still in shock and wants answers from the municipality on why it had not been secured after they had reported it for over 2 years. The Democratic Alliance (DA) have requested the municipality do a site visit and secure the area with immediate effect in order to prevent the reoccurrence of a tragic event.

During the incident, Neo’s brother pulled him out of the water. Parents and community members tried, unsuccessfully to contact ambulance services to assist them. The little boy was taken to hospital by private transport but, unfortunately, passed away.

Although attempts have been made by the family to get a response from the municipality, they report that no one has been to visit them and no one has attempted to secure the area. The parents are also concerned about the brother who had pulled little Neo from the water. He has been traumatised by the situation.

We have engaged the Speakers of both MaP, and the MMC for Social Development about visiting the family to ascertain how the area can be secured and arranging counselling for the teenage boy affected. Although the Speaker has committed to visiting the family and the area in question, no response has been forthcoming from the MMC for Social Development.

We remain committed to ensuring that the area is secured and that counselling is arranged for the family. Our sincere condolences go out to the family of little Thapelo Neo Lefuma and the community of Mphatlalasane.