Umlazi River drowning

Image via: SAPS

Boy, 11, drowns in Umlazi River after getting epileptic fit

Yet another fatal drowning has been recorded in SA. The body of an 11-year-old boy was retrieved from the Umlazi River in KZN on Wednesday.

Umlazi River drowning

Image via: SAPS

The new year has unfortunately been filled with drownings and this week was no different. An 11-year-old boy sadly drowned in the Umlazi River on Wednesday 10 February 2021. According to KZN SAPS Colonel Thembeka Mbele, the boy had an epileptic fit which resulted in his death. 

A 12-year-old girl also drowned at Glencairn Tidal Pool in Cape Town last weekend, according to the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI). 


Mbele said members from Durban SAPS Search and Rescue, DBN K9SAR and Metro Police SAR were called out to Bhekithemba late on Wednesday for a body recovery. 

“An 11-year-old boy, Sfundo Mbili, had been swimming in the Umlazi river shortly before midday when he had an epileptic fit and drowned,” said Mbele.  

The community were able to remove the deceased from the shallow water, however, SAPS were only notified much later. 

“A Rescue Stokes Basket was used to recover the body and carry it out of the valley up very steep embankments to the roadway where it was handed over to members from Umlazi SAPS,” added Mbele. 

An inquest docket has since been opened following the tragic Umlazi River incident. 

Image via: SAPS


Apart from the Umlazi River incident, Steynsrus police are investigating a very unfortunate drowning incident whereby seven children and one adult drowned. It is alleged that on Sunday 7 February 2021 at about 10:52 the police in Steynsrus received a complaint about a white Honda Ballade that was swept away into the river at a farm.

“According to information, in the vehicle was the driver Tshokolo Hlongwane (26), two adult males, Mohau Mokoena and Swartbooi Hlongwane and seven children, four boys and three girls. The two males and the driver managed to get out of the vehicle and escape but the driver went back into the water to try and save the children from drowning and was also swept away by water,” said Brigadier Motantsi Makhele. 

“All seven children drowned and the police divers managed to recover six bodies of the children and the body of the driver, the body of the seventh child is still missing,” added Makhele.

READ: Multiple fatal drowning incidents reported around SA this past weekend