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Family member of Borcherds Quarry sandpit tragedy speaks out

10 February 2021 9:23 AM
Tags:
Sinkhole
Borcherds Quarry

Zama Mati, a local photographer, and relative of one of the four boys who died, was one of the first on the tragic scene.

Refilwe Moloto speaks to Zama Mati, a local photographer and relative of one of the four boys who died tragically in a sandpit along the N2 at Borcherds Quarry.

Mati was one of the first on the scene where the bodies of his relative Iva Kalikopu, 13, and friends Nqabayethu Mlaza, 12, Axolile Mambangula,11, and Azola Quweni, 13 were retrieved.

Mati describes how he received a call from one of his sisters on Tuesday afternoon around 2.30 pm telling him his cousin was in the sinkhole next to a field where children play.

On that scene, the whole community came at large in support of all the families and it was a very, very sad thing to watch knowing that all four boys are underground and nothing can be done at that moment.

Zama Mati, Family member of Iva Kalikopu

When the community heard of this tragedy they all went out to help take out the kids, but unfortunately for them because of not having the necessary equipment they couldn't save those young boys.

Zama Mati, Family member of Iva Kalikopu

Cape Town Fire and rescue used every possible type of equipment to rescue the children, but to no avail.

It is an area the children from Nyanga and Lusaka play on because we do not have any recreational facilities or sports fields.

Zama Mati, Family member of Iva Kalikopu

They must cross the N2 highway to get to that field - and it is the only place they have fun after school or on weekends.

Zama Mati, Family member of Iva Kalikopu

It is a very deep sinkhole.

Zama Mati, Family member of Iva Kalikopu

He describes how the sand collapsed over the boys.

A fifth young boy was about to enter the space when the sand began collapsing, managed to escape and call their parents, he says.

But when they arrived it was too late. The hole as big as it was, had covered them all with sand.

Zama Mati, Family member of Iva Kalikopu

The City of Cape Town has responded stating there are sufficient play parks and a large sports field and stadium in Nyanga.

That stadium from 201y has been under renovation and has never been open to the kids.

Zama Mati, Family member of Iva Kalikopu

The other parks the City refers to are too far away for the children of Lusaka to walk. Another area the children use to play on is the Gugulethu Cemetary, he adds.

Fo us in Lusaka there is nothing at all.

Zama Mati, Family member of Iva Kalikopu

That sports field at Nyanga Terminus is not open for kids during the day.

Zama Mati, Family member of Iva Kalikopu

Listen to the interview with Zama Mati below:




10 February 2021 9:23 AM
Tags:
Sinkhole
Borcherds Quarry

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