Durban woman declared dead nearly a year after being swept away in floods

2017-07-12 14:24
Brenda Scriven (62), the woman missing in KZN, has been declared dead. (Supplied)

Brenda Scriven (62), the woman missing in KZN, has been declared dead. (Supplied)

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

Durban - After being swept away in a flood almost a year ago, Durban North resident Brenda Scriven has officially been declared dead.

Her daughter, Lindy-Leigh Swales, wiped tears from her eyes in the Durban High Court on Tuesday when Judge Nompumelelo Radebe granted a final order which would now permit the family to wrap up her financial affairs.

Judge Radebe described the case as "special and extraordinary".

"This is not setting a precedent. But the circumstances of this case are so unique there is no necessity to wait the usual seven years.

"The deceased died in circumstances which were well known around Durban."

She said the family's loss must have been a very painful experience.

"She was washed away and we can only hope that somehow, somewhere, her remains will be found," she said, ruling that Scriven had indeed died on July 25 last year.

Swales, on behalf of the extended family and friends, launched the court application last month, securing an interim order which had to be advertised in the local press for any interested parties to come forward.

No one responded.

In her affidavit, Swales described in detail the efforts taken to find her mother alive or dead after she disappeared while driving home from work at Natal Portland Cement - just four days before she was to go on early retirement.

'Swept away'

Scriven was caught in a massive storm that afternoon. When she did not arrive home, the family received a message from a local community group member that a car matching hers had been found unoccupied at an intersection on Old North Coast Road.

Her laptop, handbag and cellphone were inside.

CCTV footage showed that she got out of her car at the intersection after apparently experiencing mechanical failure.

"She got out, walked to the back of the car and then returned to the driver's side. She then lost her footing in the rapidly flowing water, attempted to stand up and then fell again. She was swept away in what appears to be a river of water… She can be seen being swept away - down the road - before exiting the camera shot," Swales said.

The search for Scriven continued for almost a month but her body was never found.

Swales said her mother was happy, and positive about her future and had no reason to abscond.

"But in these circumstances, there can be no other rational or probable explanation for her silence since July 25 last year and it is virtually certain that she died shortly after being swept away," Swales said.

The family held a memorial service for Scriven in August last year.

Read more on:    durban  |  courts  |  weather  |  floods

Join the conversation! 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.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


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 network.


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.