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The great escape

LOOK OF LOVE: Mother and son are like 'finger and nail'

18-month-old miracle child back home with his mum

After 11 days in hospital, a little boy who survived being stuck down a pit latrine for almost three days, is safely back home with his mother.

Dubbed ‘a minor miracle’, 18-month-old George Thakadu made headline news when he was rescued from certain death amid dramatic scenes on 21st November following a desperate three-day search in Malwelwe village.

The toddler had disappeared from his grandmother’s house on Saturday evening (19th November) after becoming separated from his two young cousins. He was not seen again until Monday afternoon, when the search team, a mixture of village cops, neighbours and CID officers, found him at the bottom of the old lady’s traditional toilet.

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Amazingly, those who had come to help look for the missing boy had been using the loo throughout the search!

Apart from irritation in his eyes, which require regular medical check-ups, George is healthy and energetic again – much to his mother, Kemmonye Thakadu’s immense relief.

“My heart was filled with happiness!” the 32-year-old says of 1st December, the day her son was finally discharged from Scottish Livingstone Hospital.

Speaking to The Voice last Thursday after her son’s latest check-up, Kemmonye admits she is now terrified to let the toddler out of her sight.

“We are like finger and nail, it’s very difficult to leave him with relatives. Yes for his four-year-old sister I leave her when there is no choice like today when we attended check up I left her with relatives, but for George I can’t!” says the upset mother, sobbing hysterically.

Narrating the day the youngest of her five children vanished, Kemmonye reveals she left him in the morning with other siblings at their great aunt, Boitshwaro Kentshitswe’s place.

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“I was working on a temporary job thatching a traditional hut,” she explains, adding a little later Kentshitswe left for the lands.

“I returned around past 4, the boy was playing with others. Later they left to his grandmother’s place to play. Later on, I went to the tuck shop but I didn’t take long. I was back home just after 6pm. Kentshitswe asked me the whereabouts of the child then I left to check him at the neighbour’s yard,” says Kemmonye.

It was at the point the family realised George was missing – a memory that causes his mum to weep some more.

To add to her ill feeling, Kemmonye believes it was no accident that her baby ended up at the bottom of the pit latrine.

“I suspect someone put my son inside the toilet. During the search, we consulted the pastors and they gave us hope that he was alive. They told us that he was hidden inside a house in Letlhakeng [some 36km away] but not mentioning the names of the person who took him there,” she narrates, further revealing the pastors gave her some powdery medicine to use with the boy’s father and his elder siblings.

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Still clueless and left with more questions than answers, Kemmonye tells The Voice when her son was removed from the pit latrine he showed no signs of being hungry.

“He was dark in complexion now the colour is okay. I had so many thoughts coming to my mind but all I surrendered to God. Things are getting difficult in my life as we only survive by my grandmother’s food ration from the social workers provided by the government. We ask for some water from neighbours and have to pay. As for now there is no money since my boyfriend is unemployed; I used to survive by temporary jobs washing for people but due to the situation I have to care for my children full time,” reveals Kemmonye, who herself is an orphan..

Swallowing her pride, she appealed for help to buy food and clothes for her four boys, aged 14, 12, 9 and George, together with their four-year-old sister.

After plenty of tears, she concludes the interview with a big smile while watching her little treasure nibble happily on peanuts.

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