02062010. Members of the ER24 were stoped by the members of the Tshwane Metro Police and told that something was wrong with they lights Picture: Sizwe Ndingane

Durban - A mother watched helplessly as her husband died in vain, trying to rescue their 4-year-old son,who also drowned in a southern KwaZulu-Natal river.

Magsood Gafoor, 41, who owned the Tshiphile Whole Sale Supermarket in Donnybrook, had been with his wife Fathima and son Ebrahim when the two drowned at the Sandanezwe Waterfall on Sunday.

SAPS Captain, Thulani Zwane, said the father’s valiant attempt to rescue his son ended in tragedy as both disappeared underwater.

“Members of the Port Shepstone SAPS Search and Rescue Team as well as the Port Shepstone SAPS Diving Unit responded and searched for both father and son for more than four hours in which time they managed to recover the body of Gafoor,” Zwane said

Dangers

“Due to the fall of darkness and the associated dangers rescue personnel were exposed to, the search was called off (on Sunday) until the next morning. The toddler’s body was recovered after midday (on Monday),” Zwane said.

It is believed that Gafoor and his wife had taken their son to the waterfall, about 32km from Donnybrook village.

“The waterfall is on the river which runs alongside the Sandanezwe main road. The toddler fell into the water and his father immediately dived in to rescue him but both were swept downstream towards the waterfall by the strong flowing water,” Zwane said.

He said police divers and the search and rescue team continued their search until they retrieved the child’s body at about 1pm on Monday.

“The Donnybrook SAPS has registered inquest dockets to investigate the deaths,” Zwane said.

Stroll

Local ward councillor, Banothile Thabethe, who arrived at the scene when the body of Gafoor was recovered, said the family was originally from the Eastern Cape.

Thabethe said the family had gone to the site for a stroll.

“The family was walking back to their car, which was parked near the Sandanezwe, in the afternoon. The boy was walking ahead of his parents on a path near the river.

“The boy started running then he slipped and fell into the water. When the father tried to save him, he also fell and they were both swept away down towards the waterfall,” Thabethe said.

“He (Gafoor) was helpful to the community of his business. He provided donations to help the poor when it was needed. We really lost a good soul,” Thabethe said. - Daily News