Mystery surrounds students' drowning

Asia's Tech News Daily

Mystery surrounds students' drowning
© Provided by SowetanLive

There were no screams or alarming sounds coming from the pool where the bodies of two college students were found at a North West hotel last week.

Speaking for the first time since Tuesday’s drowning of Magdeline Manyama and Keano Melamu, The Venue Country Hotel in Hartbeespoort said the other students who were in the vicinity were also aware that the duo had gone for a swim.

The hotel in a statement indicated that the two were swimming all by themselves after having dinner with other group members.

“The group attended dinner earlier in the evening and thereafter enjoyed leisure time during which the two respective individuals decided to go swimming. Fellow students were aware of the individuals swimming,” said Orion and Resorts spokesperson Dr Antoinette Gmeiner.

She said there was, however, “no noise or alarming sound” coming from the pool area before the students’ lifeless bodies were discovered. “The actual facts concerning how the drowning occurred is still under investigation,” Gmeiner said.

She said the hotel was also conducting its own internal investigation.

According to workers at the hotel who spoke to Sowetan on condition of anonymity, the students struggled to stay afloat while swimming in the pool’s deep end.

Two workers said the pool could be around 2m deep.

“I’m told by my colleagues who were there that the students had not been drinking but they apparently couldn’t swim hence they drowned at the deeper end of the pool,” an employee said.

The students’ lifeless bodies were found floating in the medium-sized pool situated near a lapa area which is adjacent to the bar and restaurant.

Manyama and Melamu were students at Orbit TVET College in North West and were staying at the hotel for a student representative council (SRC) capacity-building and skills development programme.

Johannes Sebate, Manyama’s father, confirmed to Sowetan this week that his daughter could not swim.

The hotel was a hive of activity yesterday, hosting a year-end party.

According to North West police who have opened an inquest docket, the two were sitting with a group of students when they decided to leave them before they were later found floating in the pool.

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