080113: MKMVA regional chairperson Nduduzo Mdletshe

Durban - Leaders of the Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans’ Association admitted negligence on Thursday, but denied being drunk on the day eThekwini regional chairman, Nduduzo “Sticks” Mdletshe, drowned at Inanda Dam.

A group of veterans were swimming without lifejackets at the dam on the day of the drowning, January 6. Mdletshe’s body was recovered recently by a police search and rescue team.

The association’s provincial chairman, Themba Mavundla, said he and others were drinking during the outing.

While swimming, he had felt something pulling him down, but he had managed to get into the boat with the help of his friend, Lungelo Radebe.

“We asked Sticks (who was still in the water) if he was okay and he just raised his thumb,” he said.

He admitted it was negligent of them to take off their lifejackets.

The association’s eThekwini regional secretary Thuthukani Ngozo, who was the first to see Mdletshe’s body, said it was difficult to see his friend in that state.

Mavundla said Mdletshe’s family were satisfied with what they had been told. He also vowed never to enter Inanda Dam again.

Family and friends gathered on Thursday at Durban City Hall for the veteran’s memorial service.

Many learnt for the first time that Mdletshe was the head of the city’s northern townships implementation unit for solar energy.

His funeral will be held on Sunday at the city hall. - Daily News