Swinging to his death

5-year-old strangled by swing

Having just returned home from school, without a care in the world 5-year-old Morena Obotseng happily rushed off to play on his favourite swing.

Life was good. It was Friday, 22 March, which meant the weekend awaited. His beloved dad, Cavan Obotseng had finished work early. The two were going to spend the afternoon together; little Morena could barely contain his excitement.

Seconds later that joy turned to fear. Death followed almost immediately.

Somehow, the young boy got entangled in the swing’s rope and was strangled – a terrible accident that cruelly cut short a life full of promise and love.

The Standard One pupil was laid to rest at the weekend, with many from Kumakwane turning up for the funeral to say goodbye to a child they described as ‘sweet’ and ‘extremely friendly’.

Agreeing to a brief, emotionally charged interview, Morena’s mother, Goitseone Obotseng, 41, explained she had picked her boy up from Kumakwane Primary School on that fateful day.

“By the time I went to collect the boy from school, his father called me while I was on the way to also pick him from work. I picked and dropped them both at home, as I am doing a business collecting and dropping children at school. I just dropped them by the gate and went back,” said Goitseone, her eyes red raw with anguish.

Taking over his wife’s narrative, 45-year-old Cavan revealed Morena went straight to the swing, which hung limply from a tree in the front of the family’s garden in their Botlhapelo ward home.

“I asked him not to play on the swing as he was asthmatic,” said Cavan, speaking in hushed, tortured tones.

“I went inside the house to take off my trouser, only the trouser I did not even take off my shirt when I called my son. As I failed to get an answer, I went outside to check on him,” continued the shaken father, closing his eyes as if to block out the next part of his narrative.

“I was shocked to find him hanging on a swing after the rope twisted and tied around his neck.

“The boy was always playing in the swing with his sisters, it was unfortunate that that time he was alone,” Cavan said, his voice barely rising above a whisper as he adds that he desperately tried to untie his son but it was already to late.

Alerted by the father’s helpless screams, neighbours hurried to the scene but were powerless to help.

Goitseone was called and speedily drove home. She believed her son was still alive and had merely fainted. However, after rushing Morena to Thamaga Primary Hospital, doctor’s confirmed the tragic news on arrival – her baby boy was dead.

For his part, Superintendent Moses Kwarare of Thamaga Police revealed it was the first incident of its kind to happen in the area. The top cop further cautioned parents to always be careful and be aware of their children’s whereabouts.

The only son and last born of three, Morena, like his name, was regarded as a humble, loving boy whose family had high expectations for. He was his father’s friend and wanted to be close to him all the time.

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