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Hunt for body in Bon Accord Dam

Menita Badenhorst stands on the jetty looking at the Bon Accord Dam where her boyfriend Jaco Badenhorst disappeared while swimming. Picture: Masi Losi

Menita Badenhorst stands on the jetty looking at the Bon Accord Dam where her boyfriend Jaco Badenhorst disappeared while swimming. Picture: Masi Losi

Published Sep 12, 2016

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Pretoria - The search was still on late on Sunday for a 43-year-old man who drowned while swimming in the Bon Accord Dam, north of Pretoria.

Jaco Badenhorst apparently sank while swimming in the dam on Saturday afternoon. By last night, Badenhorst was yet to be found.

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According to a friend who asked not to be named, Badenhorst was swimming in the dam with two of his friends when he inexplicably disappeared under the water.

“He was at the dam with his girlfriend. He called us saying we should join them before the start of the rugby match (between South Africa and Australia). Eight of us went for a ride on a motor-ski boat.”

Three of them decided to jump into the dam for a swim. “The water was cold and it was windy. Jaco was initially swimming quite close to the boat. After a few minutes he stopped swimming and rapidly turned around to face me. He looked me in the eyes and stuck out his arm (in a waving motion) before sinking and disappearing in the water,” he said.

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He said he was initially confused but noticed that Badenhorst was in trouble and called out to his friends who were still on board the boat.

Badenhorst’s girlfriend, Menita Visagie, was emotional and distraught and refused to speak to the media. She was being consoled by family members and close friends as they kept a vigil and prayed for the return of the 43-year-old during the search by police divers and emergency services.

At the dam on Sunday, a cluster of police cars and rescue workers gathered at the water’s edge.

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By the time of going to print, Badenhorst had not been found.

Tshwane emergency services spokesman Johan Pieterse said they would resume the search on Monday.

“The team suspect he might be stuck to something under the water, but we believe he will resurface. It usually takes three days to find someone, but we still have hope.”

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