A family in Upington in the Northern Cape is searching for answers after a man allegedly drowned himself and his two daughters, aged eight and four, in a local canal.

The girls’ mother, Firosa Basson, says the man took the children on Wednesday saying he wanted to spend time with them.

It is alleged the children were reluctant to leave with the father who then forcefully took them.

The distraught mother says she does not understand why this happened.

“My heart is broken. I didn’t think he is going to do that to my children. He loved the girls. I don’t know why he did this,” says Basson.

Northern Cape police are investigating the incident.

The police’s Mohale Ramatseba says they have opened an inquest into the matter.

The bodies of the children were recovered by police on Thursday and the body of the man on Saturday.