Rescuers have recovered the body of 17-year old Siboniso Ntshangase, the boy who was feared drowned at Dumbe in Paulpietersburg in northern KwaZulu-Natal.

Ntshangase and some of his friends reportedly jumped into the Bivana Dam last weekend to escape pursuing police.

They were caught playing soccer during Level 4 of the lockdown.

A seven-day search at the dam, unfortunately, ended in tragedy.

The Ntshangase family and the concerned villagers from Bhadeni in Dumbe say they can finally get closure. They refused to leave the dam, and slept in tents, while rescuers searched for Siboniso.

It all started with the game the boys love. More than 20 of them decided to play soccer. But many sports, including soccer, were not permitted during the lockdown.

Police arrived to chase the boys from the soccer field. Some of them and members of the community allege that shots were fired by police.

While the boys ran for safety, Siboniso and two of his friends jumped into the Bivana Dam to swim across it to escape.

Two of his friends managed to get across, but Siboniso didn’t.

His father Veli Ntshangase says: “ We would like to thank all the departments for their support during this time, we ended up getting the body of my son, I appreciate the support we received.”

Eight boys were apparently arrested at the time but were released on Monday.

Police spokesperson Brigadier Jay Naicker says: “This morning, members of the K9 search and rescue proceeded to the southern side of the river bank approximately one and a half kilometre from where the child allegedly drowned. All disciplines were mobilised to attend the crime scene. The body was identified by the family and was taken by the members of the forensic department for further investigation.”

The police have not yet commented on the allegations that shots were fired at the boys.