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A watery grave

Christinah Motlhabane
DEADLY WATERS: The cousins drowned in the pit

Woman watches helplessly as grankids drown in pit

An exciting outing into the bush to harvest mophane worms with their grandmother ended in death for two young Francistown cousins this Sunday.

The children, a boy and a girl aged 10 and 11, drowned in the murky waters of one of the abandoned pits located near Gerald Estates New Cemetery.

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It is thought the youngsters wandered away from their granny, intent on going for a quick drink and a swim to escape the scorching midday heat.

Confirming the sad incident, Tatitown Assistant Superintendent, Lawrence Nthoiwa, told The Voice, “We heard the children left their grandmother after seeing a pit to drink some water.

“After the old woman realised the kids had been gone for a while she went to look for them. That was when she noticed one of the child’s shoes were next to the pit.”

The elderly lady’s worst fears were confirmed a second later when one of her grandkid’s suddenly broke to the surface of the water, desperately trying to stay afloat.

“It happened so quickly she is not even sure if it was the boy or the girl,” narrated Nthoiwa.

Heartbreakingly, the old lady, unable to swim, was powerless to rescue her young relatives as they drowned just meters away while she screamed for help that did not come.

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Neither child reappeared.

Sobbing hysterically, the grandmother then went to report the tragedy to Tatitown police.

“We then engaged our partners, the Botswana Defence Force scuba divers, who helped with retrieving the bodies. One of the bodies was still moving at the bottom of the water,” continued Nthoiwa, adding the two children were certified dead upon arrival at Area W clinic.


“The next of kin have been notified and the bodies are at Nyangabgwe Referral Hospital awaiting postmortem. We do not suspect foul play,” stated the police chief, further disclosing the pits were dug by the Roads Department, who used the soil to fill up some of the many potholes in the second city.

He concluded by urging the public to desist from swimming in waters they are not familiar with.

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Sadly, his advice comes too late for the young cousins, whose funeral will be held this weekend in Kgaphamadi, the location where they grew up.

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