Search continues for Umlazi mom swept away by river

By Anelisa Kubheka Time of article published Nov 20, 2020

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Durban - AN UMLAZI mother’s body had still not been found after she was swept away while trying to cross the uMlazi River.

Her boyfriend, Sifiso Mthethwa, said Ziyanda Mcwilikazi worked in Chatsworth and had often crossed the river to get to and return from work.

Mthethwa was told there was a search for the body of the mother of his 8-month-old son at the river as she had possibly drowned.

He said the man who tried to rescue Mcwilikazi told him that he had been at the river and seen three people struggling to cross it. “He said Ziyanda was the closest (to him), another lady was towards the middle and a man was near the other side of the river.

“He took off his clothes and jumped in to pull Ziyanda out but she had just disappeared beneath the water,” Mthethwa said.

“He was able to rescue the other woman and the man managed to get close to the other side and grab hold of a tree. “Since Wednesday night they have been searching. Today (yesterday), the search and rescue team went to look near A section. I am beginning to lose hope that they will find Ziyanda,” said Mthethwa.

Ward councillor Sithenjwa Nyawose said that while he understood that foot bridges over the river were available, there were not enough. “Residents must stop crossing that river … they cross over it to get from uMlazi to Chatsworth and vice-versa.

Residents in F section have to use a foot bridge in G section which is quite a walk”.

Police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbele said yesterday that police were searching for 22-year-old Ziyanda. Meanwhile, Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs spokesperson Senzelwe Mzila said the hailstorm that hit parts of Msunduzi and the Midlands damaged several homes and caused blackouts in several suburbs.

“In KwaBhudlu in Harding, a 10-year-old was rushed to hospital after he was struck by lightning.”

While the SA Weather Service (Saws) has issued no warnings for the weekend, more rain is expected today.

On Wednesday residents of Pietermaritzburg experienced hail the size of tennis balls after Saws issued a warning about the storms. Forecaster Ayanda Nsele said that today there is a 30% chance of rain.

She said that there was a 30% chance of showers and thundershowers over KwaZulu-Natal tomorrow. “The storms might bring strong winds inland tomorrow”.

Daily News

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