NEWS

Body Found In Alexandra Hasn't Been Confirmed To Be The Missing Toddler's

The leader of the ANC Women's League has tried to comfort the family by asking them not to blame themselves.

25/11/2016 07:29 SAST | Updated 07/12/2016 13:08 SAST
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JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - NOVEMBER 10: Residents inspect the flood devastating area in Alexandra town of Johannesburg, South Africa on November 10, 2016. The flood caused by heavy rains have damaged a large number of houses and vehicles. (Photo by Ihsaan Haffejee/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

President of the ANC Women's League (ANCWL) Bathabile Dlamini has asked the family of three-year-old Everlate Chauke who was swept away by floods not to blame themselves.

"You shouldn't blame yourselves for what happened; it is something that was out of your control," she told Everlate's parents on Thursday.

The child's name was previously reported as Everite, and has since been confirmed as Everlate.

The women's league was visiting families who were affected by the flash floods. The ANCWL was also in Alexandra to launch its activities for the 16 Days of No Violence Against Women and Children campaign.

"When you held on to her during the [incident], that should prove to you that you wanted her to live and you loved her," she said.

Everlate's father, Shadrick Chauke, recounted the moment his daughter fell into the river. He said he tried his best to save her.

"We couldn't believe what happened. I tried but I failed," he said.

Body still to be identified

While Shadrick explained what had happened on the day of the floods, his wife Cynthia sat silently next to him.

The league donated money and food to the family.

Earlier this week, the body of a child believed to be Everlate was found in the Jukskei River in Buccleuch, north of Johannesburg.

"A body was found by community members. While rebuilding their home, the people found a child among the rubble," police spokesperson Kay Makhubela told News24 on Wednesday.

Makhubela said police could not ascertain if the child was indeed Everlate and the family was still waiting for confirmation.

Police search completed

Since the three-year-old was swept away by the flooded Jukskei River on 9 November, the search team had moved from Alexandra to Hartbeespoort Dam, north-west of Gauteng, News24 reported.

Police completed their search of the dam on Monday.

Everlate, her father, and his wife were in their makeshift home in Alexandra, next to the Jukskei River, when it started raining heavily.

When water began filling their dwelling they climbed a tree. The mother was on one branch and father and daughter on another. The branch broke and Everlate fell into the water. Shadrick jumped in after her but was forced to swim back to safety without her.