Polokwane – Zimbabweans trying to cross the border were among five people who died and five were rescued during flash floods in Limpopo, police said on Sunday.
The bodies of two men were found in the Limpopo River near Beitbridge, while two women and three girls, aged between six and 10, were rescued in the same area on Thursday and Friday, said provincial police spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo.
"It is suspected that they attempted to enter the country illegally when they became trapped by the rising river."
The women and children received medical attention before being handed over to home affairs officials.
The two men who died have not yet been identified.
Police divers on Saturday recovered the bodies of three boys who had drowned in ditches filled with water in the Giyani and Mankweng areas.
Search and rescue officials also saved a man who became trapped in a swollen river in the Dennilton area.
"The man was clinging to a tree in the fast-flowing river for a few hours before he was successfully brought ashore."
With rains continuing to fall in the province, police warned people to be extremely careful when crossing rivers or streams, whether by foot or in a vehicle.
"The water on top might seem as if it is flowing smoothly, but the strong current underneath can sweep away a person or a vehicle with ease," warned Mojapelo.
He also urged parents not to allow their children to swim in ditches or holes filled with rainwater.
"They might underestimate the depth of the water and fall into difficulty which can lead to drowning."