UKZN athlete and leader drowns while swimming at Midmar Dam

2018-05-16 06:02
Sizophila Mahlobo drowned in Midmar Dam on Saturday.PHOTO: facebook

Sizophila Mahlobo drowned in Midmar Dam on Saturday.PHOTO: facebook

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

A UNIVERSITY of KwaZulu-Natal student drowned in Midmar Dam on Saturday.

Sizophila Mahlobo (24), a keen sportsman who was chairperson of the university’s athletics club, drowned on Saturday afternoon when he and some friends swam to retrieve their canoe.

He was declared dead on scene.

Mahlobo, of Esikhawini, near Empangeni, was pursuing a Master of Science degree in Hydrology at the Pietermaritzburg campus, where his research interest was water quality.

ER24 spokesperson Werner Vermaak, said paramedics and members of the SAPS search and rescue worked to recover Mahlobo’s body. “Bystanders on the scene explained to emergency workers that they swam out to retrieve a canoe [and then] noticed one of their friends were missing.”

He said the circumstances surrounding the incident would be investigated by police.

Friends and colleagues said Mahlobo was a long-distance runner for UKZN’s athletics club. He was the club’s treasurer before he was made chairperson this year.

Andrew Stewart, the vice chairperson of the athletics club, said he had heard of the incident on Saturday via UKZN’s sports union. He said Mahlobo had nominated him last year to be vice chairperson.

“I would never have accepted it if not for him. He was by far the best leader I’d seen; I was always impressed by the way he dealt with things.

“He was quite a sportsman, and he had a lot of time for people. He was a very organised leader.”

Blessing Zondi, a friend of Mahlobo’s of six years, said he was a hard-working person who was always “determined to see the grass grow”.

“He was a very cool guy, very talkative and always laughing. He was a bit naughty but he was honest.”

A tribute on the athletics club’s official Instagram page said: “The country has lost a person that had an opportunity to contribute to one of our scarce skills areas.

Ironically, it seems Phila’s journey and the aquatic side were intertwined, for he succumbed to death while canoeing at the Midmar Dam.

“We will miss you on the road comrade, indeed we will feel the pain of running down kilometers without you around. A life well lived! Phumule ngoxolo mfethu (rest in peace, brother.)” Attempts to contact Mahlobo’s family were unsuccessful yesterday.

UKZN said it was waiting for a full report of the circumstances.

It sent condolences to his family and team-mates.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.