Durban - The body of 23-year-old herdsman Thembinkosi Sihle Sibandze was discovered in Ottawa north of Durban on Tuesday, three weeks after he went missing while herding cattle during last month’s floods.
The Mercury reported at the time of the storm, which devastated areas in and around Durban, that he went missing while attempting to cross a river in the Zwelisha area outside Verulam.
Reaction Unit South Africa (Rusa) spokesperson Prem Balram said Sibandze’s body was recovered partially buried in Ottawa.
“A scrap collector operating along the river discovered an arm and part of a body protruding from the sand,” he said.
According to Balram, the scrap collector ran to Pinewood Road in Ottawa and informed a member of Rusa who was on patrol in the area.
He said the information was circulated to other Reaction Officers and Rusa members proceeded to the location at approximately 11,10am and walked several metres through overgrown vegetation to the riverbank where the partially buried body was located.
“Two silver rings on the deceased’s hand and a red jacket led officers to believe that the body was that of Sihle, who drowned while attempting to traverse a river during a heavy storm on the afternoon of Tuesday, June 27. Attempts to recover his body since were unsuccessful.”
Balram said the herdsman’s family were currently on scene and had positively identified the body.
Police have been approached for comment.
EThekwini Municipality mayor Mxolisi Kaunda has previously confirmed that the storm claimed the lives of 12 people.