Durban — The search for the herdsman who drowned resumed on Wednesday morning.
Reaction Unit South Africa (Rusa) spokesperson Prem Balram said that the search HAD resumed for Thembinkosi Sihle Sibandze, 23, who was believed to have drowned in Tuesday’s heavy rainfall.
Balram said that Sibandze was a Swazi national residing in Zwelisha.
“He was herding cows in Palmview, KZN, yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon when torrential rains swept through Durban. He attempted to traverse a river with his herd of cows when he was swept away,” Balram said.
He said that the incident was witnessed by several residents.
Balram said that Rusa members searched the river banks following the incident in an attempt to find Sibandze but the search was called off due to flash flooding.
“Reaction officers returned to the area this morning (Wednesday) and discovered that the level of the river had drastically reduced. Rusa members search river banks from Zwelisha to Ottawa without success,” Balram said.
At 11.06am, officers and members of the public were waiting for the arrival of SAPS Search and Rescue to conduct a sweep of the river with a specialist dog.
When reporting the incident on Tuesday, Balram said that Sibandze and one cow experienced difficulty and were swept away. The cow managed to get out of the water downstream but witnesses confirmed that the man had disappeared underwater.
Meanwhile, reporting on other incidents from Tuesday afternoon, Balram said that homes were flooded and a number of vehicles were damaged during flash floods.
Balram added that Rusa members responded to approximately 40 call outs pertaining to flooding from 4.15pm.
“Reaction officers evacuated a family of four from their residence in Woodmanor Place in Trenance Manor after a stream at the rear of the property widened and burst its banks,” Balram said.
“A 50-year-old female contacted Rusa requesting urgent assistance after her 90-year-old mother slipped and fell in their flooded home on Munn Road in Ottawa. The caller was unable to remove the elderly female to safety. Reaction officers immediately responded and rescued both women from the residence.”
Balram said that several motorists between Phoenix and Verulam were stranded after their vehicles became submerged in water. Flooded roads resulted in traffic delays.
He added that several reports of property damage were also received during the downpour.
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