Second ranger’s body found

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Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife

A search and rescue team scan Lake Nhlabane near Richards Bay for the two Ezemvelo KZN field rangers who vanished while crossing the water in a canoe they had confiscated. The bodies of both rangers have now been found. Picture: Musa Mntambo

A second missing KwaZulu-Natal field ranger has been found dead, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife said on Tuesday.

The body was discovered close to where a first ranger was found dead on Monday, spokesman Musa Mntambo said.

Mbazwani Mhlongo, 57, and Phumlani Mthembu, 34, went missing at Lake Nhlabane in the Enseleni Nature Reserve on Friday.

They were part of a four-man patrol that found four gill nets and a canoe at the reserve, which they decided to confiscate.

Mhlongo and Mthembu opted to paddle the canoe back to base, while the other two walked back.

On Sunday a paddle - believed to be one of those used by the missing rangers - was found. The empty canoe was discovered on Monday morning.

Mntambo said arrangements were being made to bring the families of the two rangers to a local mortuary, to identify the bodies.

Post-mortems would be conducted to determine the cause of death. Trauma debriefing and counselling for both families, and the two men's colleagues, had been arranged.

Ezemvelo chief executive Dr Bandile Mkhize expressed his condolences to the bereaved families. - Sapa


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