Some months ago, a disused mineshaft swallowed
a five-year-old South African boy, Richard Thole.
However, since that time, there has been no rest
for the boy's mother, Nombeko Thole.
According to Daily Sun SA, this is because
Richard’s screams haunt her sleep at night. He
begs her to fetch him from the dark grave.
Nombeko Thole (35) told Daily Sun she couldn’t
sleep at night.
“He comes to me in a dream, begging me to fetch
him. It haunts me because I can’t help him.
Emergency services tried but they also failed. I feel
so helpless and I’m struggling to get this thing off
Little Richard’s story made headlines in March this
year, when her son disappeared down the deep,
Emergency services and the SANDF tried in vain to
retrieve his body.
Richard was playing with his friend Tshepiso when
he slipped and fell down the open shaft.
remains there to this day. She said the family as
well as his little friend who had witnessed the
accident were left traumatised.
“Each time Richard’s friend came home from
creche, he would sneak to the shaft to check
whether he could see him.
“He did this unnoticed until his mum heard about it
and immediately took him to her parents in
Mpumalanga, fearing he too would fall down the
Nombeko and her husband Misheck said they often
visited the shaft, which is still open, to speak to
“We miss him. He was a lively child who lit up our
home and he left a vacuum. We can’t be free in our
souls until we find closure.”
Nombeko said they still hadn’t received the
counselling promised by Ekurhuleni Municipality.
“They promised us a lot of things, including a
house, but we’ve seen nothing.”
Other residents said the open shaft was growing
bigger and kept getting deeper.
“No one is safe here,” they said.
Ekurhuleni mayoral spokeswoman Gugu Ndima
said their door was open to the family.
“At the last meeting we had with them they said
they would consult with their family. We have been
waiting for them ever since.”
She said the family would still be given