EDITORIAL | A thorough, truly independent probe is the least ...

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EDITORIAL | A thorough, truly independent probe is the least dead boys’ families deserve

Had the public transport and roads department spent its budget, two little boys may not have drowned

Editorial

A few days after Tony “Bhobhoza” Tshwenu, five, and Siyabonga Nkonyana, seven, drowned in a quarry at the Skierlik Mountain View informal settlement in Tshwane on February 27, a Sunday Times Daily reporter visiting the scene came across workers hurriedly erecting a fence around the quarry. Community leader Mzwandile Dyantyi said engineers started working in the area as far back as 2002. “There was never security or a fence,” he said. Asked for comment, King Civil Engineering Contractors’ financial manager Mark Harris said: “I do not want to speculate on what led to the deaths, but will rather wait for the investigation being conducted by the department.”

That investigation has now been instituted, as promised by Gauteng MEC for public transport and road infrastructure Jacob Mamabolo. He announced on Sunday that advocate Thomas Bokaba has been appointed to “find the relevant facts and accountability” for the deaths. His job will be to establish if there were any failures on the part of the department and contractor. The quarry where the boys died is at a road construction site on the K54, part of an upgrade to Solomon Mahlangu Drive.

But here’s the part of Mamabolo’s statement that should cause concern: the investigation, he said, will be “completely independent of the department”. ..

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