Umlazi mum swept away by river was set to marry
Durban - THE 22-YEAR-OLD woman who drowned while crossing the uMlazi River during heavy rain on Wednesday was to marry the father of her child next December.
Metro Police Search and Rescue and members of the SAPS K9 unit recovered Ziyanda Mcwilikazi’s body on Friday.
Mcwilikazi had been coming home from work in Chatsworth with two others and had been trying to cross the river near Umlazi’s F section to get to her C section home.
She lost her footing and was swept away by the river.
Yesterday, Sfiso Mthethwa, her boyfriend of three years and father of her 8-month-old son, said they had had a bright future ahead of them.
“We had been saving money to open a tuck shop and tavern together in January. We had already seen a car we were going to buy in April and we were to marry in December next year.”
Mthethwa said Mcwilikazi was a good mother and partner who put her family first.
They worked together and even though they finished work at different times they always had lunch together.
“I would often find her wearing my shirts, jackets and belts. We decided that from then on we go shopping for clothes together and buy matching outfits. I knocked off 30 minutes and sometimes an hour after her. She would be busy with supper when I got home. It was heartbreaking and difficult to see her limp body,” said Mthethwa.
Metro Police Search and Rescue officer Constable Mfanufikile Dlamini said on Wednesday evening that they could not conduct the search from the outset because of the heavy rain and the water was moving rapidly.
“Another hindrance was that it was quite dark and we can’t do deep water searches at night for safety reasons. We returned on Thursday at first light to conduct a proper search with the K-9 unit.
Sergeant Colin Chetty from the K-9 Unit with his search dog, Ghost, and I conducted a search going as far as 5km downstream from where Mcwilikazi had been swept away, but we were unsuccessful.”
He said on Friday that they returned to where they had last searched for Mcwilikazi, but this time with the assistance of a second SAPS K-9 unit.
“We were able to cover more ground. Eventually, we found her not too far away from where we had resumed searching after Ghost had picked up a scent and pointed us towards the edges of the river. We moved along the edge of the river until we saw what looked like an item of clothing among the reeds and we found Mcwilikazi faced down among the reeds.”