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SANDF continue their efforts to provide relief to flood victims in KwaZulu-Natal

South Africa - KwaZulu-Natal - Durban, .07/06/2022. Members of the SANDF carry their donation to the floods victims in Mzinyathi outside Durban. Picture: Khaya Ngwenya/African News Agency (ANA)

South Africa - KwaZulu-Natal - Durban, .07/06/2022. Members of the SANDF carry their donation to the floods victims in Mzinyathi outside Durban. Picture: Khaya Ngwenya/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Jun 7, 2022

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Durban - The South African National Defence Force is continuing their effort to provide relief to the KwaZulu-Natal flood victims through their ‘Operation Chariot’, that involves other social responsibilities programmes within the army.

The Chief of the SANDF, Lieutenant-General Rudzani Maphwanya, led the army Spouses Forum and the arms industry company, Armscor, in distributing humanitarian aid to displaced families in KZN on Tuesday.

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The delegation visited various places, including Inanda, Umzinyathi and various community halls where flood victims sought refuge after their homes were washed away by floods in April.

In Umzinyathi, the SANDF delegation met victims still reeling from the flood devastation that caused massive damage and displaced many families.

SANDF Chief, General, Rudzani Maphwanya, South Africa - KwaZulu-Natal - Durban, .07/06/2022. SANDF Chief, General Maphwanya hands over SANDF donation to the flood victim, Busisiwe Ntuli, in Mzinyathi outside Durban. Picture: Khaya Ngwenya/African News Agency (ANA)

Busisiwe Ntuli, 38, has not found her two-year-old granddaughter, Luthando, who got lost during the April floods.

Ntuli lamented the trauma and stress the family was enduring as they were still searching for the toddler’s body.

“It is hard to find closure until we recover the remains of Luthando. We want to heal and put everything behind, but we find it hard,” said Ntuli.

She recalled moments of the fateful night when she was woken by water inside the house that reached up to her knees.

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“My daughter, Thembeka, was sleeping with Luthando and Sinothando, 8. They were all getting washed away by the flood, but my daughter was able to make it. We found Sinothando in another area where the floods had washed her away. She was freezing cold.

Unfortunately we haven’t been able to find Luthando,” said Ntuli.

South Africa - KwaZulu-Natal - Durban, .07/06/2022. Members of the SANDF carry their donation to the floods victims in Mzinyathi outside Durban. Picture: Khaya Ngwenya/African News Agency (ANA)

She commended the SANDF’s effort, adding that the army had been instrumental in the search for their little girl.

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“They have visited several times with earthmoving machines in searching for our daughter, but they have been unlucky. We are thankful for all their efforts, although our hearts remain heavy because we haven’t found our Luthando,” said Ntuli.

The Mdlalose family in Umzinyathi had 10 people missing (nine have been found), while the Gumbi family’s three children remain missing.

The operation was also largely supported by the People's Liberation Army of China.

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The humanitarian aid included grocery packs, clothing, blankets, stationery and essential hygiene products for women.

SUNDAY TRIBUNE

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