Death by drowning during lockdown

Lungani Zungu

KwaZulu-Natal has the most Covid-19 cases in the country – and also has the most fatalities of people who break the lockdown rules by going to the beaches and drowning.

Of the 11 people who have drowned since the beginning of January, nine were from KZN, while the others were from the Western Cape and the Northern Cape.

This included children who decide to go for a splash with their friends but end up paying with their lives.

In January the following casualties were registered.

  • KZN police recovered the body of a 14-year-old girl in Ibisi river in Umzimkhulu, south of the province.
  • Police recovered the body of an 11-year-old girl who had drowned in the Mvubukazi river in Umzimkhulu. 
  • The body of a man was found floating in the Mfuli river, Masangweni Reserve in Melmoth.
  • Scrolla.Africa reported about a drowning incident of a six-year-old boy in the Mnamfu river lagoon, Umtwalume in Hibberdene. 
  • A 33-year-old man drowned at Sibaya Lake, Mbazwana. 
  • The body of a 27-year-old man was recovered in the Tugela river in Mandeni.
  • The body of a nine-year-old boy was recovered at Brighton Beach.
  • An 11-year-old girl drowned in Empangeni.
  • The body of a 37-year-old male was recovered in the Umlazi river near Silverglen.

Northern Cape SAPS recovered the body of a 19-year-old female in the Orange River, near Orania on the same day that a 34-year-old man drowned in Herolds Bay beach in the Western Cape.

Meanwhile, by Tuesday KZN had the highest active Covid-19 cases at 46,528, followed by Western Cape with 25,372 and Gauteng had 19,360. All other provinces were below 15,000.

Acting spokesperson in the Presidency Tyrone Seale repeated President Cyril Ramaphosa’s call for South Africans not to use the beaches until the government announces new measures.

Picture source: Mkhuseli Sizani