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Heartfelt sketch honouring SAPS diver Mjwara and police dog Leah

A sketch paying tribute to SAPS diver Sergeant Busisiwe Mjwara and police dog Leah has moved people who come across it. Facebook/Tam Olckers

A sketch paying tribute to SAPS diver Sergeant Busisiwe Mjwara and police dog Leah has moved people who come across it. Facebook/Tam Olckers

Published Apr 21, 2022

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Durban - A sketch paying tribute to SAPS diver Sergeant Busisiwe Mjwara and police dog Leah has moved people who come across it.

The sketch was created by Tam Olckers who shared it on her Facebook page on Monday.

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Captioning her work, Olckers said: “EDIT: I believe the K-9 officer belonged to a different handler and not Busi. My tribute to the rescue officer and her K9 companion who died yesterday while helping out with the devastating floods in KwaZulu-Natal....”

The Daily News had requested an interview with Olckers but she had not responded by the time of publication.

The SAPS shared an article by Good Things Guy about the sketch and said: “A drawing by Tam Olckers to honour SAPS Search And Rescue police officer, 42-year-old Sergeant Busisiwe Mjwara and police dog Leah from the Durban SAPS K9 Unit. Both drowned while in search of three drowning victims from floods in KwaZulu-Natal.”

At about 11.30am on Sunday morning, 42-year-old Sergeant Busisiwe Mjwara was conducting a search in the Msunduzi River for three victims who had drowned earlier in the week, when she got into difficulty and drowned. She was airlifted to a nearby hospital but was sadly declared dead on arrival.

During the same operation, K9 Leah from the Durban Central Search and Rescue unit also drowned. According to reports, Leah was attempting to assist Sergeant Mjwara when she also experienced difficulties.

According to Good Things Guy, Olckers uses drawing and doodling to express her emotions when words fail. She wanted to be a cartoonist when she was younger. She is a firm believer in maintaining good mental health and wellness. Using art to manage that is part of her process and one she encourages others to take up too.

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“Tam works for Newzroom Africa and was on duty this weekend when reports started coming in regarding the loss of Busi and Leah. She is blown away that people are finding comfort in her drawing. She hopes it finds its way to Busi’s family and Leah’s handler too, bringing them comfort during this time.”

This is how Facebook users reacted to the sketch:

Kerry Katz: “Holy crab cakes! That is a powerful little doodle. Tearjerker of note.”

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Claire De Sylva: “You are incredible!!!!! This has touched my heart so deeply.”

Jeannette van Vuuren: “You have unleashed tears I so desperately needed to shed. From the heart beautiful xxx”

Lesley Evered: “Beautiful tribute, I hope her family sees it.”

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Tracy Duggan: “A beautiful tribute to two true heroes.”

Daily News

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