10 members of single family killed in floods – search goes on for six more

Kamogelo Olaitan

Families in KwaZulu-Natal are still looking for the bodies of their loved ones who were swept away or buried under collapsed buildings in the recent floods.

The Mdlalose family of uMzinyathi is one of these grieving families. They are looking for the bodies of six missing relatives.

Ten of their relatives went missing when their house collapsed last Tuesday. The bodies of four family members were discovered the next day on the shores of uMzinyathi River.

Amanda Acheampong told News24 that they have not received any help from the authorities in finding the bodies of their presumably dead relatives.

“These floods have caused a lack of assistance and compassion from local government and officials that has been exceptionally devastating,” she said.

She added that rescue services and police had told the family not to take rescue operations into their own hands as it could be dangerous.

“But they haven’t even bothered to go to the area where we think the bodies are lying under collapsed walls. So we decided to send nine relatives to go search for the bodies,” she added.

The bodies of the four deceased, a grandmother and her three grandchildren are still at the mortuary.

“We were hoping to recover the other six remaining bodies by now already, but that hasn’t happened. The plan was that we would bury everyone together since they all stayed in the same house when it collapsed,” said Acheampong.

President Cyril Ramaphosa offered his condolences to the Acheampong family during his address to the nation on Monday night.

Also on Monday, National Police Commissioner General Fannie Masemola said additional members of the SAPS Search and Rescue units in neighbouring provinces have been roped in to help in the search and rescue operations in KwaZulu-Natal.