Three teenagers drowned while crossing the Matimofu River from Ndlongoleane School in uMlalazi on Wednesday.

Durban - Three KwaZulu-Natal schoolboys were killed when a river they were crossing during a heavy downpour on Wednesday swept them away.

Nontethelelo Mcanyana, 18, Sinikiwe Mpanza, 17, and Zenande Gumede, 14, drowned while trying to cross the Matimofu River from Ndlongoleane School in uMlalazi.

Nomusa Dube-Ncube, KZN MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta), said the department extended its heartfelt condolences to the families and communities of the three children. The families are also receiving support.

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This is a tragedy, the likes of which we must all strive to prevent by heeding weather warnings,” Dube-Ncube said.

"In light of this tragedy, we are urging residents of the affected regions to stay away from all rivers and streams in their vicinity where localised flooding could occur. We are also warning motorists to drive carefully and avoid low-lying bridges in areas that are susceptible to flooding," she continued.

She said they were urging residents living in northern KZN to heed weather warnings about localised flooding due to incessant rain affecting King Cetshwayo, uMkhanyakude, and Zululand districts.

Police could not be reached at the time of publication.

Daily News