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BOY’S BODY WASHES UP ON KLEINZEE BEACH FOUR DAYS AFTER DROWNING INCIDENT

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The body of 14 year-old boy Austin Kloppers who drowned at sea in the Northern Cape’s town of Kleinzee has been found having washed up on the town’s beach four days after submerging at sea under a high tide past Sunday afternoon.

Police spokesperson Colonel Dimakatso Mooi confirmed yesterday’s discovery by the police’s Search and Rescue Unit to NCNN.Live following an enquiry.

“The body of the boy was found washed ashore approximately 2km from the alleged drowning place. The body was found yesterday afternoon around 16:00. An inquest has been registered,” she stated in a text message.

The deceased Austin hails from Caledon in the Western Cape and was a Grade-8 learner at the town’s Overberg High School.

Dellin Kloppers, uncle of the deceased, also confirmed that his nephew has been positively identified.

“The family is mourning but glad that they at least have the body, so we can find peace in burying him.

“But we also would like to thank yourself (NCNN.Live) and all the other people who prayed and stood by my family in our time of need. Thank you very much.

“We would like to say a special thank you to the Upington diving unit and Kleinzee police for their support through this difficult time,” said the uncle in a text message.

The aunt of Austin Lindsay Kloppers told NCNN.Live on Tuesday that her nephew was visiting his great-grandmother at the time of the incident.

“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.”

By Thabo Mothibi  / thabo@ncnn.live

 

Austin Kloppers

 

Kleinzee in the Northern Cape.
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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..