Kannaland Municipality drowning

Image source: Flickr

Drowning: Two Free State brothers confirmed DEAD, inquest opened

Free State police have cited a witness who said one brother was trying to save the other from drowning, but they both didn’t make it

Kannaland Municipality drowning

Image source: Flickr

A day of swimming ended in complete tragedy for a group of boys in the Free State. The South African Police Service (SAPS) in the province confirmed that two brothers from Bronville aged five and seven drowned in a dam.

SAPS has cited a witness who says five-year-old Nadio Pienaar had been swimming in the deeper side of the dam and needed help, prompting his brother Marshall Pienaar to come to his rescue.

“On the 8 January 2022 at 17:42 a group of boys from Bronville went to a mine dam to swim. According an eyewitness, one of them, a 5-year-old boy moved to a deeper side of the dam and struggled to come out. His older brother, who is 7-years-old tried to rescue him but both of them disappeared and drowned,” said SAPS Free State spokesperson Captain Stephen Thakeng.

Authorities were only alerted of the incident on Sunday morning.

“The incident was reported the following day on the 9 January 2022 at 08:30. The SAPS Diving Unit under the leadership of Lt Col. Conrad Fouche visited the scene and managed to retrieve the two bodies. The next of kin were informed and the two brothers were identified as Nic – Nadio Pienaar (5) and Marshall Pienaar (7) residing in Peterson Street Bronville, Welkom”

SAPS Free State spokesperson Captain Stephen Thakeng


The boys’ drowning will be the subject of an investigation regardless, as police in the Free State say they have opened an inquest docket into the incident.

“Children must refrain from swimming in places that are not safe and also parents must know the whereabouts of their children to avoid this disaster,” Thakeng further said.

The incident comes as several people were reported to have drowned in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) over the past few days. On Friday, a 14-year-old girl’s body was recovered at the Bay Hall area (harbour) in the Richards Bay SAPS district. According to NSRI Richards Bay station commander Mike Patterson, they were called to the scene of a drowning in progress near Bay Hall, off-shore of Pelican Island.

“On arrival on the scene a search commenced for a 14-year-old female who had disappeared under water after appearing to be in difficulty approximately 50m off-shore. During a search the body of the teenager was located and recovered by police scuba divers from under water,” he said.

While on the same day, a 48-year-old man drowned in a river while attempting to cross the flooded Mthethwa Road bridge over the Umzinyathi River in Inanda, north of Durban.

“Police divers from Durban SAPS Search and Rescue along with metro police search and rescue searched the river today (Saturday) without any sign of the victim,” police said.