Seven-year-old Mkhosi Ginindza, who has been taking swimming lessons for a year, has been lauded for jumping into action to save a four-year-old boy from drowning in the pool at his complex in Johannesburg.
His mother Nosipho told News24 this week that Mkhosi and her husband went to the pool two weeks ago so he could play in the water.
While there, the little boy apparently jumped into the water while his teenage brother chatted with his friends, she said.
Mkhosi heard the water splashing and saw he was almost drowning, before anyone else noticed anything.
"My son realised and swam to him and turned him around because he was face down in the pool. He did the lifeguard safety technique, swam with him on the side and pulled him out of the water."
She said the boy was fine and she alerted his family about what had happened.
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"I still can't believe it. My husband is a good swimmer but I almost drowned when I was 13 so we do some bonding and swim together on Saturdays."
Vorn Jones, of Vorn's Lifeguards in Olivedale, said the mom and son team were in separate classes at her swim school.
She said her mouth "dropped to the floor" when Nosipho told her what had happened.
"I went to Mkhosi, gave him the biggest hug and said: 'Do you have any idea what you did that day?' We hugged for a good five minutes and he had the biggest smile on his face," she said.
Mkhosi learnt how to rescue someone from watching his older sister being taught the methods in the water, she added.
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"You don't have to be a strong swimmer or be of a certain age to rescue someone," said Jones.
"Anyone can rescue someone. Doing something is better than nothing."