Croc kills woman at St Lucia Estuary

2012-04-03 14:22

Durban - A woman was killed by a crocodile at Lake St Lucia Estuary mouth in northern KwaZulu-Natal on Tuesday, the iSimangaliso Wetland Park authority said.

Thandazile Madela, 48, from Kwamsane, was retrieving fish at the water's edge at around 06:30 when the crocodile grabbed her arm and dragged her into the water, the authority said.

Her mother and children, aged 13 and 14, called for help.

A boat launch assistant on the beach heard them and alerted park staff.


"An immediate search was instituted by foot and boat, involving about 20 staff, but the crocodile repeatedly disappeared from view as the boat approached, hiding itself in reed beds.

"The searchers continued to pursue the crocodile until, over an hour later, it eventually released the body and disappeared," the authority said.

iSimangaliso Authority CEO Andrew Zaloumis, who assisted at the scene, conveyed his condolences to Madela's family and thanked staff, the police and bystanders who assisted in the search.

He urged holiday makers and locals to remember that the St Lucia Estuary forms part of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park and has one of the highest concentrations of hippos and crocodiles in southern Africa.

"Crocodiles are opportunistic predators that generally target fish, but will readily take animals or people near the water's edge," the authority said. "They tend to be more active in summer."

- Were you there? Send us your eyewitness accounts.

  • Phumi - 2012-04-03 14:41

    Thanks to the legacy of the past called poverty this woman had to die! This is just another grim reminder of how far are we to achieving economic freedom for our peoples and black in particular!

      Riaan - 2012-04-03 14:54

      @ Phumi. You are seriously diluted if you think this happened because of any "legacy". For as long as people inhabited this earth they have been sharing the land with the animals and people have fished and have been caught by croc's since the dawn of man. It is in a crocodile's nature as opportunistic feeders to grab what they can. This happens all over the world wherever there are croc's irrespective of the political past. Your attempt to politicize this event is disgraceful! Whats wrong with you?

      Justme - 2012-04-03 14:54

      @Phumi - not sure if you are an idiot or just a troll, or both. RIP

      John - 2012-04-03 14:57

      why always th race card. get on with it.

      godesha - 2012-04-03 14:58

      Sorry Phumi, blame you own damn government for the poverty. The past has been over for almost 20 years and what has your government done for you?Nothing, nada, zero and they will continue to do so until eternity comes. Can you not see how things have gone downhill since they took over?

      Abri - 2012-04-03 14:58

      And if whites never came to this country - how bad would the legacy have been then? All black people would till today have had to go the river banks to get water....

      bluzulu - 2012-04-03 15:00

      Now who lit this fuse........Phumi,

      malvina.vanbreemen - 2012-04-03 15:04

      Troll Alert!!!!!!

      jackal666.daniel - 2012-04-03 15:06

      Didn't you know crocodiles are racist???

      Shirley - 2012-04-03 15:09

      Troll alert!!!!!!!!!!

      Nosiphom - 2012-04-03 15:22

      I just wonder if all the people that go fishing do so because they are poverty stricken. Nowhere in the story does it say the woman was poor. She was merely retrieving fish, like many other people, rich and poor, who fish would do!

      Den - 2012-04-03 15:24

      thanks to that legacy you are now in the first world, do wake up.

      Shaunsmith337 - 2012-04-03 15:25

      scary that phumi got 15 thumbs up don't you think?

      richard.hipkin - 2012-04-03 15:27

      And a new troll enters an already trolled out forum... Move on Phumi, you about 5 years too late with your troll tendencies.

      Karen - 2012-04-03 15:27

      IDIOT, Simply an IDIOT

      Stille - 2012-04-03 15:28

      Yes moron, we trained the crockodiles to eat blacks and tonight the tokolosh will visit you. Hope your bed is on bricks. Idiot.

      Mashudu - 2012-04-03 15:30

      @ Phumi, this has nothing to do with economic freedom. Crocs are wild animals. they see everything as prey. PS There's poor people even in the richest countries.

      Colin - 2012-04-03 15:38

      not very bright for a university gradute.

      Marko - 2012-04-03 15:58

      No phumi, in 2005 a white man was dragged away and killed by a crocodile while fishing. You dumb moron crocodiles kill hundreds of people all over the world rich and poor. I wish racists like you will leave our country if you don't like it here. Please do me that favour!

      Mashudu - 2012-04-03 16:03

      @ Phumi, pls read below.

      Catherine - 2012-04-03 16:13

      @Phumi. I have to agree with the comments directed at you, you are a total idiot and do no justice to the rest of the black community. Next you are going to say that people attacked/killed by sharks is due to poverty. God help us if people like you are the future.

      Greg - 2012-04-03 16:24

      Phumi, think about what you've just stated...basically that crocodiles can tell the difference between rich and poor people!! You are a disgrace to black South Africans and a sad reminder to all of us of what mindlessness fuels our government. Have a little respect for the poor woman who died rather than use her as a means to voice your racist remarks...

      Japana101 - 2012-04-03 16:27

      Com on, Phumi, this is a sad story and somebody has lost their life. Children have been orphaned and you say something like this. Think b4 you post something. So sad.

      barry.dogg.fritz - 2012-04-03 17:10

      the lights are on but nobody is home

      Leonard - 2012-04-03 19:24


      Lacrimose - 2012-04-03 20:04

      People get eaten by crocodiles, sharks, lions, tigers... No amount of economic freedom can protect you from that. When the ancestors call you home, home you go. Or do you imagine that being economically free means there are no more crocodiles, sharks, lions, tigers left?

      Mac - 2012-04-03 21:21

      only a twit can give this a racial twist, poverty is relative to what you are used to. a young woman (black if you must know) said fetching water or catching fish does not make you poor, if you have done this most your life then how can you be poor.If its taken away from you,its stolen,if it dries up,its nature,what makes you poor is not having anyone to share it with....not my words but worth thinking about

      Michael - 2012-04-04 14:05

      Phumi - and you went to University? Wow man - this is absolutely marvelous - what an IQ you have!

      fishycraig - 2012-08-21 21:21

      You trying to blame the Groot Krokodil here phumi?

  • Felix - 2012-04-03 14:42

    RIP, not a good way to go :(

  • Carla - 2012-04-03 14:48

    RIP. Tragic that those children had to see their mother suffer such an horrific death.

  • Shirley - 2012-04-03 14:49

    Condolences to the family. I hope this heightens awareness so this wont happen again.

  • bluzulu - 2012-04-03 14:49

    This is a tragedy, feel for the kids and Mum whom had to witness the event. R.I.P...........

  • Mandu - 2012-04-03 14:51

    That's terrible. RIP

  • Gcwabe.KaMavovo - 2012-04-03 14:55

    I hope they get good counseling after this. I can't imagine anything more traumatic. RIP Mama.

      Rainbow - 2012-04-03 15:30

      I agree. My heart goes out to the kids and their granny.

  • Mashudu - 2012-04-03 15:19


  • khosimjadu - 2012-04-03 15:28

    This is just mama

  • rouan.kritzinger - 2012-04-03 15:30

    if you knew what the estuary condition is then i would ask, what the hell was she doing there and they take the small fishes. the estuary is closed to fishing currently.

      Gideon - 2012-04-03 15:42

      Since when? People fishing all the time.

      Michael - 2012-04-04 15:34

      Actualy Gideon, Rouan has a point - I have often fished up the Natal North coast and especially at St Lucia - if the Parks board have closed the waters to fishing that is exacly what you have to do - stop fishing! There is also a limit on the size of the fish being taken out the water. Different types of fish have diff. size limits. The Parks baord impose heavy fines on anybody caught catching under-sized fish. The article does not state any of the conditions so we cannot really comment about there being a total fishing ban - unless you know otherwise. PS The area is known for both hippo and shark and crocodile attacks!

  • Beverley - 2012-04-03 15:58

    Proper education is very important.Where did Phumi get hers?.Catch a wake-up.Idiot

      Nosiphom - 2012-04-03 16:40

      She got it where her Prez got it - nowhere!

  • Dean - 2012-04-03 16:09

    I was at the mouth yesterday and saw the crocodile checking out the area. There were black, white and indian folk at the mouth catching fish. We were all happily sharing the blessing of the wonders of our country together. I am shocked to hear what happened this morning as it happened exactly where I was fishing with my son and duaghters. It was very easy to get over comfortable as the fishing was good and there were many people. My heart goes out to the family. I am very grateful as it could easily have been different for my family. I ALSO DON'T THINK THAT THE CROCODILE WAS TOO INTERESTED IN MY COLOUR.

      Lacrimose - 2012-04-03 20:09

      According to Phumi, the crocodile left you, your family and all the other people catching fish, unmolested because it knew you were economically free :)

  • Christopher Zoony De Croes - 2012-04-03 16:12

    unlucky,,, everyone knows the danger @ st lucia if you near the waters edge or in the water then its your own bby if a croc or hippo takes you out.

  • Pieter - 2012-04-03 16:46

    lol, phumi realy?

  • Judith - 2012-04-03 20:20

    My condolences to her family. Unfortunately that's what crocodiles do whe they have the opportunity

  • AndrĂ© - 2012-04-03 22:52

    Shame, to the victim and her relatives. Poor croc must have been hungry because humans take their food away!

      Michael - 2012-04-04 11:05

      Andre - are you and Phumi perhaps related?

  • billidp - 2012-04-04 07:58

    R.I.P Thandazile Madela - felicitations to the family and I sincerely hope that her mother and children get the necessary counselling.

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