King Civil Engineering Contractors statement on the tragic deaths of two children adjacent to its road construction site in Mamelodi

King Civil Engineering Contractors is contracted to construct sections of road K54 in Tshwane and is currently undertaking work in and around Mamelodi. The construction has been underway for 3 years as part of upgrading the road network which transports thousands of commuters between Gauteng and Mpumalanga daily. 

 The company was informed by its Mamelodi site personnel on Saturday afternoon (27th February 2021) of the tragic and unfortunate incident which led to the discovery of the bodies of Siyabonga Mabila (7 years old) and Lawrence Tshwenu (4 years old). 

 Internal investigations are underway to understand what transpired on that fateful Saturday afternoon that could have led to the unfortunate deaths of Siyabonga and Lawrence in an attenuation pond located within the greater area of the construction site. We have allocated resources to ensure that the investigation is completed comprehensively and in a timeous manner to enable the families, community, our employees on site and all stakeholders to have a full understanding of the circumstances that led to this unfortunate incident. This report will be made available to the families and all relevant stakeholders as soon as possible. 

 We are also fully co-operating and assisting the Gauteng Roads and Transport Department, which has launched a full independent forensic investigation into the incident. This is not our report but we urge the department to make it available to the family and all relevant stakeholders once it is ready. 

 The Police have also attended to the scene and we are also working with and assisting them in their investigation of this incident. 

 Since the incident happened over the weekend, representatives of King Civil Engineering Contractors have met with the families of Siyabonga and Lawrence to offer their condolences and support during this difficult time, and we reassured them of our full co-operation with the Police and various Departmental investigations. It is too early to speculate how exactly the children accessed the site as investigations are still to be concluded. 

 What we know so far, STILL SUBJECT TO FULL INVESTIGATIONS: 

  • King Civil Engineering Contractors has been on site constructing part of K54 road for the past 3 years. The site has had an excellent safety record and no previous fatal incidents. 
  • The site is secured by permanent security personnel to ensure members of the community do not have access to the site. The security personnel were on site at strategic points as expected, on the day of the incident (which included the attenuation pond). 
  • The families of Siyabonga and Lawrence reside in one of the settlements adjacent to the construction site, which is located approximately 500 meters from the scene of the incident. 
  • Preliminary investigation shows that the two boys did not accidentally fall into the attenuation pond but COULD have been swimming (as evidenced by their clothing being found on the scene). Conclusions in this regard will be drawn once investigations are finalized. 
  • Physical security on the site has had to deal with local communities wanting to access the construction site without permission on an ongoing and continuous basis. 
  • Previously erected temporary security barriers have been breached, stolen or vandalised leading to the decision to have a local security company deploy physical personnel to guard the site and equipment and to prevent unauthorized access. 

King Civil Engineering Contractors will not make any further statements until both internal and external investigations are finalised and the outcomes have been communicated with the families and other stakeholders. 

Statement issued by King Civil Engineering Contractors 

For further information, kindly contact Themba Hlengani : 081 783 2873 or 076 561 5067

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