Police have opened an inquest docket into the death of a four-year-old boy after he fell into a sewer at a high school near Mahikeng in the North West
The child fell into the drain on Sunday at around midday, said police spokesperson Brigadier Sabata Mokgwabone.
The incident at the Sejankabo High School premises in the Mocoseng village outside Mahikeng was only reported over two hours later at 14:28, Mokgwabone said in a statement.
"Subsequent to assessment of the scene by the police, including a diver, and local fire services officials, it was concluded that there was a need for diving services of which the team thereof was assembled to remove the body the following day [Monday]."
He said the fire services' ladder was used to measure the depth of the drain, but it could not reach the bottom. Attempts were also made to clear that part of the sewer, but were unsuccessful.
"It was then decided that the search be postponed until Monday as there was a need for special equipment," said Mokgwabone.
"However, members of the community had a different view and demanded that the child be removed immediately, thus ignoring the danger associated with the exercise."
But the boy's body was then removed after a member of the community designed a wooden apparatus, which was used to search and bring up the body from the drain.
Mokgwabone said police didn't know how the boy fell into the drain, but an investigation into the circumstances that led to it was under way.
"While we are committed to provide services to the community, it is also important that each situation is assessed to avoid more and unnecessary loss of lives. Depending on the situation, specialists and, in this instance, divers, were recommended," Mokgwabone said.