POLOKWANE - Police in Thohoyandou have opened two inquest cases following the drowning of two people during an apparent "spiritual ceremony" on Thursday, the South African Police Service (SAPS) in Limpopo said on Saturday.
A 26-year-old "prophet", Kone Mutali and a 16-year-old congregant Neluheni Steven drowned at about 1pm on Thursday while allegedly performing a spiritual ceremony at the Ngwedi River between Tshilapfene and Makwarani villages, Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo said.
"After 12 congregants of a local church from Mashau village in the Vuwani policing precinct gathered at this river for prayer and other spiritual ceremony, the prophet and the teenager allegedly got into the water and drowned."
The SAPS search and rescue unit and medical emergency services were called and, on arrival, started a search for the two people.
"Members of the community are once again cautioned to be extra careful when they are around dams and rivers for any reason, including religious activities. Residents are further advised to only get into the water if it is safe to do so and [they] are able to swim to prevent this type of incident from happening again. Police investigations are still continuing," Mojapelo said.