Campaign to warn pupils of river dangers

Durban - The discovery of the bodies of two friends who drowned in the Tugela River, where there had been reports of crocodile sightings, has sparked an awareness campaign to warn pupils of the dangers of swimming in rivers.

The body of Nhlanhla Ntuli, 11, was found on Friday – one of his legs was missing – and that of Vusumuzi Mdlalose, 12, on Saturday.

A search and rescue diver stands in the muddy uThukela River at eMdlebeni, near Stanger, while a colleague assists from the river banks and residents look on. Photo: MARILYN BERNARD. Credit: INLSA

They had been swimming on Wednesday with two other friends who survived.

The boys drowned in a stretch of the river at Bulwer Farm, Newark near Kwa-Dukuza (Stanger), where there had been reports of crocodiles.

Local councillor Sanele Mfeka said schools would be visited to raise awareness among children about the dangers of swimming in rivers.

“People are drowning in that river every year,” he said.

“We can’t blame the government because even if we fence that river, people will steal the fence because that is a bushy area and there are no people staying by the river to safeguard it.”