Family of drowned Soweto boy get funeral assistance

Ten-year-old Simphiwe Tshepo Moloi was trying to fetch a soccer ball which rolled into a hole filled with water

30 August 2023 - 14:32
By Rorisang Kgosana
Simphiwe Tshepo Moloi drowned in Mofolo South on Sunday.
Image: Supplied Simphiwe Tshepo Moloi drowned in Mofolo South on Sunday.

The family of the 10-year-old boy who drowned in a hole filled with water in Soweto are relieved to be getting assistance to bury him.

Simphiwe Tshepo Moloi died on Sunday when he tried to fetch a soccer ball which rolled into a hole filled with water in a field outside his home in Moroka South.

The grade 5 boy took off his clothes and walked into the water but did not realise the depth. His body was retrieved by divers nearly five hours later and he was declared dead at the scene.

The family say a ward councillor has been co-ordinating their son's funeral. 

His aunt, Kgomotso Moloi, told TimesLIVE they received a visit from a social worker on Tuesday.

“She offered to give us counselling after the funeral. The councillor also came and said they will help with what is needed for the funeral,” she said.

They have received an undertaker and a funeral package paid by the contractors responsible for the hole.

“Johannesburg Water came this morning to bring groceries so we can make tea for guests. The ward councillor also said he would come back later with more groceries. We just need to co-ordinate this right so things can move at a faster pace,” she said. 

Ward 37 councillor Papi Chetsanga said he has been working with the family and the municipal departments to ensure Simphiwe receives a dignified burial. “This includes providing hearses and such for the funeral. My role is to put everything together with all of the departments, including Johannesburg Water, the contractors and the City of Johannesburg,” he said.

The aunt said the family was “getting there” in coping with the sudden death and hoping to bury him this weekend. 

His mother Patience is under strain. The aunt said Patience accompanied the undertakers to fetch her son's body on Wednesday. She was also there when his body was zipped up in a bag after the rescue efforts.

“Patience came from the mortuary this morning [Wednesday] to get her son. She is not doing well. She has been sleeping since she came home.”