A 43-year-old man who had gone to a river stream with a pastor to pray has drowned, the South African Police Service (SAPS) in Mpumalanga has said.
The incident is said to have occurred in Kriel on 13 June 2022. The victim has been identified as Eric Tshifhiwa Phaswane.
“According to the report, on 13 June 2022 a local pastor in Kriel, together with a certain man are said to have gone to the river streams to pray however the man that the pastor went with, somehow fell and drowned,” said SAPS spokesperson Brigadier Selvy Mohlala in a statement.
DROWNING VICTIM’S BODY ONLY RECOVERED LATER
While Phaswane is reported to have drowned nearly two weeks ago, his body was only recovered from the river stream on Saturday, 25 June 2022. SAPS Mpumalanga said the matter had been reported to them at the time, but that efforts to retrieve his body didn’t yield any results.
“Although the matter was reported to the authorities, his body could not be recovered then by members of the Police Diving Unit who did all they could to find him. The search for the man continued for days without any success until the divers finally retrieved his body this morning”
SAPS spokesperson Brigadier Selvy Mohlala
In the wake of the tragedy, Mpumalanga’s police commissioner Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela has urged members of the public to take precaution whenever they go to dams, rivers streams, rivers or lakes.
Manamela further pleaded with the public to consider the shower rains that were experienced in some parts of the province which made the dams and rivers swell.
“The incident is unfortunate and regrettable. We therefore request community members to think twice before coming closer to the rivers or dams for whatever reason as this might place their lives at risk,” she said.