Provincial Commisioner concerned about numerous drowning incidents in Mpumalanga

NELSPRIUT- The Provincial Commissioner of the South African Police Service in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Mondli Zuma is concerned about the extremely high number of drowning incidents in the province. These drowning incidents are as a result of heavy rains and still continue falling in most parts of Mpumalanga as well as the prevailing hot temperatures.

During December a total of 18 people were reported to have drowned and all their bodies were recovered, while the same number of drowning incidents also took place from January up to date, with all but two bodies recovered. There is a strong possibility that the two missing bodies may have been devoured by crocodiles, since most rivers are infested with in the province are infested with crocodiles.

These incidents occur when people are trying to cross what is normally small streams, but suddenly become raging rivers after heavy downpours, while some go for swimming in a bid to cool the soaring temperatures off.

Among the recent drowning incidents are the following, on Sunday, 03 February 2019, at around 14:00, four boys aged between eight and twelve were swimming at the Driekoppies Dam in the Nkomazi area, when two of them got into difficulty and drowned. The matter was reported to the police at Schoemansdal but it was impossible to launch a search for the bodies on the same day as it was already late and dark. Police Divers came the following morning and the bodies were soon retrieved.

Meanwhile in Matsulu on Thursday, 31 January 2019, a nine-year-old boy is alleged to have drowned at the Crocodile River, the body of the boy has not been found up to today and Police Divers are still searching for the body.

On Friday, 11 January 2019, a 25-year-old man drowned at the Nkomazi River at Tjakastad, near Badplaas. Police Divers were summoned to the scene but could not get into the river as the current was too strong. The following day, members started their search only to find the body after eight days, even then the partially decomposed upper part of the body was retrieved, it is suspected that crocodiles may have eaten the other part of the body.

We are pleading with parents to keep an eye on their children especially after heavy rains that fell in most parts of the province streams and rivers have burst their banks. Everyone needs to exercise caution, including motorists when encountering overflowing streams, said General Zuma.

Source: South African Police Service