MK cadre’s mysterious end

2013-01-18 00:00

COLLEAGUES of the MK veteran who drowned in Inanda Dam have claimed that a large animal living in the murky depths pulled him under.

Leaders of the Mkhonto Wesizwe Military Veterans’ Association (MKMVA) in KZN said yesterday it was this mysterious creature that ultimately caused Nduduzo Mdletshe’s drowning.

“There is something in that dam I don’t know,” said provincial chairperson Themba Mavundla.

He claimed they had seen a scary animal one night at the dam while searching for Mdletshe.

“Even other journalists who were there saw it. It surfaced and sank,” Mavundla said.

Provincial treasurer Linda Mbutho said the animal was the size of the car. “We can’t say what it is.”

The bizarre explanation came during questioning from journalists

Mdletshe drowned while swimming without a life jacket with two of his friends on January 6. They had initially been water-skiing behind a boat. Mdletshe’s body was found only on Tuesday.

The press conference at the ANC provincial offices in Durban was called to dispel rumours that foul play had been involved.

Police spokesperson Colonel Vincent Mdunge declined to comment on statements from the briefing, but said an inquest had been opened and postmortem results were still expected.

It also emerged yesterday that Mdletshe was due to attend a meeting in Pietermaritzburg that was rescheduled and held on the boat instead.

Mavundla said they would co-operate with police, although they believed there was nothing suspicious.

“We were there; we know what happened. There was no foul play in the first place. If it comes to such an allegation, we will avail ourselves.”

He added that they had called the police when Mdletshe drowned.

Mavundla said they had already told the investigating officer what transpired that day.

Provincial secretary Nhlanhla Maphumulo said the mood on the day was one of friendship.

“I didn’t think they would kill each other,” Maphumulo said.

Mbutho echoed Maphumulo’s sentiments, saying Mdletshe had been a pillar in the MKMVA and had helped improve the livelihoods of many former cadres.

“The situation was beyond them,” he said, referring to the vain attempts by friends to rescue Mdletshe by throwing him a life-jacket and a rope.

Mavundla said the idea of taking a swim had not been discussed, but fellow MKMVA member Lungelo Radebe had taken off his life jacket and jumped into the water, followed by Mavundla and then Mdletshe.

“There was no proposal to swim. He [Radebe] did not tell anyone; he just jumped into the water.”

However, Mavundla said swimming without life jackets had been instinctive to them as former soldiers who liked to take risks.

A memorial service was held yesterday. The the funeral will be held at Durban City Hall on Sunday.

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