Thabo Mothibi, Managing Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org
A 14 year old boy Austin Kloppers from Caledon in the Western Cape is missing following a drowning incident that occurred at the Northern Cape’s west coast town of Kleinzee on Sunday afternoon.
“We the family of Austin ask for assistance just to retrieve the body. We still haven’t found his body and just ask for professional help. We are deeply hurt and saddened by his loss but we ask that (the public) you keep him in your prayers. Any help will be appreciated,” pleaded Lindsay Kloppers, an aunt of Austin.
Indications are that the South African Police Services (SAPS) diving unit was called out from Upington but could only use a drone in an attempt to spot the body owing to a high tide in sea water.
Northern Cape Police spokesperson Colonel Dimakatso Mooi confirmed that a search has unfolded: “The search and rescue team together with the Kleinsee Police continue to conduct coastal searches in order to retrieve the alleged drowned boy. The Police have also been giving the family progress (updates) from time to time. The search continues.”
The aunt of the Grade-8 learner at Overberg High School at Caledon in the Western Cape explained to NCNN.Live what had transpired at a time of the visit to Austin’s Kleeinzee based great-grandmother.
“He was with his cousin, family and friends, and decided to go swim after they had their Sunday lunch. He jumped into the sea the first time, came out and ran back into it again.
“A big wave came and he wasn’t able to swim towards the beach and the current pulled him further back. The people he was with tried to go after him but the current was too strong. They immediately ran for help and by then he already had gone down. Our hearts are broken,” said a distraught aunt.
*This is a developing story and shall be updated.
By Thabo Mothibi
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Thabo Mothibi is a former broadcast journalist (TV and Radio) – with specialist reporting experience; SABC Political/Parliamentary and TRC Teams over a period of five years (1995 to 2000).
One key foreign assignment - is the 11-nation African Connection Rally – overland journey from Africa’s northern-most pole in the coastal Tunisian city of Bizerte to the southern-most pole in South Africa’s Cape Agulhas. From the journalistic years, Thabo then delved into Government media liaison and serving two former Ministers and three MECs. He became the Northern Cape Provincial Government’s first department based Communications Director at Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development - 2008-2010 – where he also served as Head of Ministry from 2003 – 2008.
As a former anti-apartheid activist, his political background and professional training aided him in spearheading the Northern Cape ANC’s 2004 National Elections media and publicity campaign and that of the 2006 Local Government Elections.
Whilst based in Waterkloof in Pretoria -2010 to end 2011, he consulted for Manstrat Agricultural Intelligence, then returned to the Northern Cape in 2012 to date, to consult independently and pursue other entrepreneurial interests in media and communications through KwaVuko Communications and Marketing.
Thabo Mothibi obtained his NQF7 through Wits University’s Graduate School of Public and Development Management (P&DM) in Johannesburg, a Unilever Mandela Rhodes Academy for Marketing and Communications Academy (UMRA). The goal of the NQF7 programme was to educate and train public and private sector professional communicators and marketers in government communications..