Women's Duzi ordeal

2009-04-19 00:00

After disappearing a week ago, a 63-year-old woman was found clinging to a log in the Duzi River yesterday morning.

Doreen Kunene, an Imbali Stage One resident, was rescued by the SAPS search and rescue unit after being spotted in the Duzi River by a driving school instructor who was awaiting the arrival of a client.

“It was about 6.20 am and I went down to the river to feed the fish as I normally do. When I got there, I saw this woman crouching in the river. I thought she was praying so I just fed the fish and walked away,” said the man who would only identify himself as Naeem.

A short while later, he went back to the river and got no reply when he asked Kunene what she was doing.

“When I saw her the second time I just knew that something was wrong, so I called the police,” said Naeem.

SAPS search and rescue unit Inspector Jack Haskins and his team raced to the scene after receiving a phone call shortly before 9 am.

On their arrival, Haskins and another team member jumped in the water and helped guide Kunene to the river bank. They then bundled her in a stretcher and hauled her onto land.

When asked why she had jumped in the river, a shivering Kunene said a voice in her head had told her to do it.

Last week, The Witness urged readers who knew of Kunene’s whereabouts to contact the police after she was reported missing.

Kunene was last seen by her son when she left home to attend a church service.

Haskins said Kunene had suffered multiple abrasions from the vegetation in the river.

Paramedics on the scene assessed her condition before transporting her to Northdale Hospital.

The police officer investigating Kunene’s disappearance, Captain Roseburn Mngadi, said he was making arrangements to reunite Kunene with her family.

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