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Inquiry opened into death of two teens who absconded from youth centre for day at beach

24 April 2022 - 11:16 By TimesLIVE
KZN social development MEC Nonhlanhla Khoza. File image
KZN social development MEC Nonhlanhla Khoza. File image
Image: Jackie Clausen

The drowning deaths of two teenagers — one while trying to save his friend — is under investigation by a team appointed by KwaZulu-Natal social development MEC Nonhlanhla Khoza.

The tragedy occurred after five children absconded from a private youth care centre in the Munster area, to go swimming at Palm Beach, on the South Coast, on April 14.

The teenagers who drowned were Thabo Nondaba, 17, and Lungelo Goba, 16.

“According to reports, Goba started swimming and within seconds disappeared in the water. Nondaba followed in an attempt to rescue him, but failed,” said the MEC.

“The three remaining boys ran back to the centre to report to the senior childcare worker, who went to the scene and immediately reported the matter to the police.”

A sea search team had started looking for the boys underwater, but they could not be found. Nondaba's body was swept ashore by the current the next day, while Goba's remains were beached on April 16.

Nondaba was an abandoned child who had been in alternate care all his life, said Khoza.

A team of social workers was dispatched to provide psychosocial support to the care centre.

“We are heartbroken as a result of this incident in which we lost two young lives.

“As a department, we will do a thorough investigation on what exactly happened and how the children were able to escape without being noticed by their minders.”

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