Scavenger dies in sewer

2013-07-20 00:00

THE body of one of the four men who went missing on Tuesday was found floating in sewerage on Thursday, police said yesterday. The men went “treasure hunting “ in a Merebank sewer system in Durban on Tuesday morning.

Police spokesperson Colonel Jay Naicker said the four went scavenging for jewellery, gold and diamonds in the sewerage pipes from Merebank canal in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Bhayo Mnqayi, Sphamandla Khanyile, Ntuthuko Gumede and Simphiwe Manqele somehow ended up in the rapidly flowing sewerage. Three of the four were found alive on the day, but Mnqayi was certified dead at the scene by ambulance personnel, according to Naicker.

Naicker said Khanyile was found by a municipal employee inspecting and cleaning the sewer. He is in a critical condition at Wentworth Hospital. Gumede was treated at the scene.

A search for Manqele was conducted as there was no trace of him. His body was found on Thursday.

Naicker said no sewer pipes were vandalised, and that police had found torches which are believed to have been used by the men searching for the treasure.

“When questioned, the survivors said they were searching for gold, diamonds and jewellery. An inquest docket is being investigated by Wentworth police,” said Naicker.

Bhayo’s uncle, Bonginkosi Mnqayi, told The Witness that the family had no idea the deceased was involved in treasure hunting.

“We were shocked to hear this after the police had contacted us. At this stage we are still trying to get hold of the survivors to get an explanation on how this happened,” he said.

Attempts to get comment from the survivors were unsuccessful yesterday afternoon.

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