Umlazi pupil Bongumusa Mavundla stood in the driving rain, glued to the spot from where he last saw a 19-month-old baby he tried to save from surging floodwaters.
Tears welled as he recounted the moments when the toddler was swept from an embankment by the frothing brown waters caused by the relentless rain that pelted KwaZulu-Natal from Tuesday morning.
Moments earlier, Mavundla, on his way home, had rushed into the icy water that had washed over Hambakahle Mkhonto Road, in Umlazi, to help to safety a group of children in a créche cut off by the rising flood.
“I went inside and I got the baby and I carried her out of the water,” he said.
His attention drawn by the desperate cries of the other children, he placed the baby on an embankment and rushed back into the créche.