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Two congregants drown another rescued during baptism event in Limpopo dam

Two congregants drowned during a baptism ceremony conducted by a pastor in the Masetheko Dam under the Maleboho policing area in Limpopo. Picture: SAPS

Two congregants drowned during a baptism ceremony conducted by a pastor in the Masetheko Dam under the Maleboho policing area in Limpopo. Picture: SAPS

Published Jun 21, 2022

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Pretoria – Police in Limpopo have opened inquests after two baptismal candidates drowned in the Masetheko Dam under the Maleboho policing area in Limpopo.

Provincial police spokesperson, Lieutenant-Colonel Mamphaswa Seabi said the duo died on Sunday, during a baptism ceremony conducted by a pastor in the dam.

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“A pastor was reportedly busy conducting baptismal ritual in the said dam when four people who were to be baptised fell into the dam. One of them managed to swim out, the other, a woman, was rescued and the remaining two drowned,” Seabi said.

“The two bodies were retrieved by divers from the SAPS search and rescue unit on the same day, at about 16h30. The deceased were identified as Elvis Ramakgaphola, 21, and Michael Rampa, 29, of Mohodi Ga Manthata village.”

Police said a similar incident of drowning took place in the Mogol River in Lephalale last week, where a pastor and a church member drowned during the process of baptism.

Meanwhile, provincial commissioner of police in Limpopo, Lieutenant-General Thembi Hadebe has highlighted the potential dangers associated with stagnant water in the rivers and dams, and warned community members about the “alarming situation of drowning incidents” taking place in the province, especially during religious activities.

“Members of the community are cautioned to be careful and wary when using dams and rivers for any purpose, including religious activities,” Hadebe said.

Two cases of inquests have been opened and police investigations continue.

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