The missing six-year old Khayalethu Magadla found near after searching more than 20km of pipeline, Johannesburg
On Saturday, 2 July 2022 at about 12h23, the body of Khayalethu Magadla was recovered by a rescue and recovery team comprising of 35 EMS, hazmat and urban search and rescue technicians, water unit, K-9 unit and Air Wing, Delta Scan, ambulances from Gauteng Province and 60 members of Johannesburg Water. Khayalethu Magadla was found from the splitter chamber on the first manhole towards the sump situated near the Eldorado Cemetery.
The little boy fell into an open sewer manhole while playing with his friends at a park in Dlamini, Soweto. It has been an excruciating 20 days for the family since search began for the six-year old boy.
“The EMS specialised team has consistently continued with search through the challenging pipeline system. The urban search and rescue teams have covered at least 20km from Dlamini to Eldorado Park.”
Acting Chief of Emergency Services, Noma Mjali says it took this long to recover the child’s body because the rescue team had to actually go through the sewer pipes from where the child fell to where he was found on Saturday. She further explains that when they got to the Johannesburg wastewater treatment plant, they discovered that the water levels were at very dangerous levels.
High water levels
Mjali elaborates, “…So for the last couple of days they’ve been working tirelessly, trying to reduce the water levels so that they could go in. So they went in a couple of times in through different entrance and different manholes, but today they went into a very difficult manhole that they’ve been struggling to open for the last couple of days. They were able to recover the body of the missing child.”
The City is committed to assist the family with all that is necessary following this tragic event.
Johannesburg 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.”
Source: Nana Radebe-Kgiba, spokesperson, City of Johannesburg EMS