PMB Rhodes student lucky to survive boating tragedy

2014-07-30 00:00

RHODES University student Mohamed Gaffoor from Pietermaritzburg is lucky to be alive.

Gaffoor survived a tragic boating accident that claimed the lives of two student friends at Settlers Dam near Grahamstown during a weekend fishing expedition.

Gaffoor, who is from Northdale, is studying chemistry at the Eastern Cape university.

His family told The Witness they were traumatised by what happened, but relieved he survived.

Gaffoor’s two friends who drowned — Rizwan Bhayat and Mohammed Amin Mussa — both from Zambia, were said to be committee members of the Rhodes University Muslim Students Association (MSA).

Bhayat was the president of the association, and a third-year BCom Economics student. Mussa was the association’s treasurer, and a third-year ­BPharm Honours student.

Gaffoor’s grandfather, Ebrahim Gaffoor, told The Witness yesterday: “I just heard that my grandson survived from drowning and he had tried to save one of his friends who held his hand but could not because of the strong current.

“Thank God he survived but I feel sorry for his friends who drowned,” said Gaffoor.

Gaffoor’s mother said it was a trying time for the family and they did not want to talk about the incident publicly.

The students reportedly hired a boat on Saturday morning at Settlers Dam in the Thomas Baines Nature Reserve.

They apparently encountered difficulties in strong winds and the boat capsized.

Gaffoor managed to swim ashore and made his way to a farm, where he raised the alarm.

The bodies of his friends were later recovered by police divers.

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