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Story By: James King, Sub-Editor: Alex Cope, Agency: Newsflash
The body of a man who tried to save the life of this little girl has been fished out of the canal together with her body.
But while the girl is now going to be buried by her family, the family of the hero that tried to save her life cannot be returned home because his family cannot afford it.
The eight-year-old identified as Abieda Paulse had fallen into the fast-flowing Vygieskraal canal, which runs through the South African legislative capital Cape Town, in the Athlone area when Yusuf Kiriboto spotted what had happened, and jumped in to try and save her.
Both the child and her rescuer were then carried away with the child’s body led to being found under the M5 bridge on the Liesbeek River, and the man’s body being found a day later.
The dead man’s dad, Akida Kiboroto, 86, said they first needed to carry out a DNA test to confirm it was their son, which they could not afford, and it was hard to identify him as his face had been eaten away by fish.
He added: “We have nothing, and we have accepted that he will be buried as a pauper there. I am happy that my son died a hero, but we cannot bring him home for burial.”
Paulse’s family confirmed that the child’s body found in the river on Monday was their missing child, who was a Grade 2 pupil from Silverlea Primary School.
A family friend, identified as Magdalene Wagenaar, said the little girl would be sadly missed.
She said the youngster was confident and bright as a button, and although cheeky had always got the job done when asked. She said she had taken the little girl’s teddy bear and dressed it up so that it would be a reminder of her life for her family.
Meanwhile the body of the man who tried to rescue her was identified by his niece, Gegeibu Omari.
She said: “I stayed with him and he used to sleep next to me. I know him very well. I am heartbroken but at least now we saw that he was no more, as we have been worried ever since he went missing.”
She said that the man had moved to South Africa 15 years ago in order to money to send back to his wife and child back home in Tanzania, saying: “He wanted to work for them.”
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