Fiancée not laying blame

2014-02-22 00:00

REACTING to news that it has been confirmed by an autopsy that her fiancé died by drowning whilst swimming the Midmar Mile, Shene Jones said she was not pointing fingers over his death.

Jones (34), the fiancée of 43-year-old Johannesburg businessman Herman “Thabo” van Straten, said while she was not laying the blame at anyone’s feet, she believed that the organisers of the Midmar Mile should have more safety measures in place and the existing measures they have should be beefed up to ensure that a similar tragedy never occurs again. “They should really take this seriously.”

The heartbroken Jones yesterday told Weekend Witness, “It’s still hard for me to be without him.”

Van Straten participated in the Midmar Mile on February 8 and was reported missing by his fiancée after the race.

Lieutenant Jack Haskins and his team from the Pietermaritzburg K9 search and rescue unit searched the waters of the dam for more than five days, finding him just 800 metres from the start of the 1 600 metre race.

A postmortem report revealed that Van Straten had drowned.

Howick police spokesperson Lolly Moodley said, “He had no injuries and had not suffered a heart attack”.

Midmar Mile organiser Wayne Riddin did not return calls or respond to an SMS from Weekend Witness requesting comment.

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