Home News Rescuers search for ‘missing’ child after hoax call

Rescuers search for ‘missing’ child after hoax call

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It is believed that the caller “invented” the accident in an attempt to direct the attention of the municipality to the problem of overflowing sewage in the area.

AN APPARENT prank call about a child falling into an open manhole had rescue workers searching for several hours on Tuesday.

Stone Street in Galeshewe was barricaded as rescue workers searched for the reported missing child following an emergency call received early on Tuesday morning.

It is believed that the caller “invented” the accident in an attempt to direct the attention of the municipality to the problem of overflowing sewage in the area.

A team from Sol Plaatje Municipality, including firefighters, four municipal trucks and an ambulance, gathered at the supposed rescue site.

After several hours of searching, however, all that was found in the drain were two large rocks.

According to Stone Street residents, blocked and overflowing drains have become the norm in the area and they claimed that the municipality tends to drag its feet in attending to the problem.

There are currently six manholes in the area which do not have covers.

At the site, enquiries by the police ascertained that none of the curious onlookers had witnessed a child falling into the drain. 

According to the residents, the drains were often blocked for weeks on end. One resident added that they had become “regulars” on a local radio station, where they always complained about the overflowing drains. 

She added that sometimes residents opened the manholes themselves in an attempt to see what was causing the blockages.

“I am aware that this ‘rescue’ effort is a waste of state resources but I do understand if the caller just wanted to attract the attention of the municipality as our living conditions have become unbearable,” said the resident.

“Now officials from the offices of the Mayor and Speaker can see for themselves how this street is flooded with sewage,” the resident said.

Ward 18 councillor Perdy van Wyk admitted that there was an endless challenge with blocked drains, not only in Stone Street but throughout the entire ward. He blamed the situation on the old infrastructure.

“The problem will only be solved if new and bigger pipes are installed.  Although this manhole has just been unblocked, if five houses flush simultaneously, it will be blocked all over again,” Van Wyk said.