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- Lone, aged 12 drowned in the Thamalakane River on Saturday
- The body of the standard 5 pupil was retrieved the following day
- She will be laid to rest in Maun on Sunday
- Fisherman linked to the drowning still at large
- Kubung Primary School held a memorial service in her honour
Lone William, a 12-year-old girl of Matshwane Ward in Maun whose life was cut short after drowning in the Thamalane River last weekend will be laid to rest on Sunday (November 19th). Her tragic passing has left the Maun community in shock and grief.
On Saturday afternoon, November 11th afternoon, heartbreaking news broke that the Standard Five pupil at Kubung Primary School had drowned in the Thamalane River near Maun Lodge after her and other six children left home for a swim at the river.
Tragedy struck after a certain fisherman allegedly lured the group to swim near him so as to drive more fish into his net. Seeing that the other kid has drowned the fisherman is said to have fled the scene and police are still on his hunt.
Maun Police station commander, Superintendent Dennis Zilawe has since pleaded with members of the public to help them with any information that may lead to the whereabouts of the said fisherman revealing that the suspect is believed to be leaving around Riverside in Maun.
He said though they are yet to identify the said suspect, in terms of age and nationality the surviving children have however described him as an old man who speaks Setswana. The children had also gone to the extent of directing the police to a place they believed belonged to the suspect, but only to find out that he does not live there.
“We went to the place where they said the alleged suspect leaves but we were told by those found that they don’t know any fisherman or old man. We are however confident that we will get him soon as our investigating team is on the look-out,” the police boss assured.
On that fateful day, Superintendent Zilawe revealed that they received a report on Saturday evening from Maun Lodge security officers that some children had come from the river and reported that one of them had drowned.
He said the police immediately assembled a team of Botswana Defence Force, Botswana Police scuba divas and members of the District Disaster Management Team to embark on her search.
“Our team started the search immediately and because it was already late, the team stopped the search and continued on Sunday morning. The girl’s body was retrieved around 10 am on Sunday,” he said.
One of the family member, Thembi Williams said upon receiving the news that their daughter had drowned they were left shocked considering the distance where they reside as they did not believe that the children would travel that far. She revealed that the deceased left home to play with others only for the family to later receive a call from one security officer at Maun Lodge informing them that she had drowned.
Williams said they then immediately rushed to the scene where those who were in the company of the deceased also confirmed the incident revealing that a fisherman whom they found at the river requested them to come and swim where he was fishing and that was when the deceased drowned.
On Thursday, Lone’s fellow students, teachers and the members of the public thronged the Kubung Primary School to pay their last respects at a memorial service and various speakers described her as a bright and intelligent girl who had a bright future ahead.
One of her teachers described Lone as a leader who wanted to achieve her goal noting that she met the young girl in January as her standard 5 pupil. She said Lone at that time was not doing well academically but the 12-year-old would later improve greatly in the second term and became one of the A, B, C material in the school.
The deceased’s best friend also noted that to her, Lone was that little sister from another mother that had a special space in her heart lamenting that she will dearly miss her.
Kgosikgolo Tawana’s mother Mohumagadi Boitshoko Debbie Moremi added that Lone was a bright and energetic young girl who longed to become someone in the society. Mohumagadi described Lone as a bold and open minded girl who never wanted to lose or give up.
Narrating her experience with Lone, Mohumagadi said the deceased came by her yard a week before her demise, asking for water to drink as it was a norm. She said Lone came with her friends as usual and in that day she was very cheerful saying ‘Nkuku re batla metsi go mogote ko ntle kwano,’. Mohumagadi further revealed that Lone was that leader among her peers, who would do everything to assist them.
A representative from William’s family described Lone as bold and stubborn at times adding that the young girl was a go-getter who wanted to win at all times.