KZN father battles raging river to recover son's lifeless body

2017-10-12 19:38
(Image via Twitter / Arrive Alive)

(Image via Twitter / Arrive Alive)

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

Durban – A father is traumatised after having to battle a raging river in the rain to retrieve the body of his 12-year-old son as KwaZulu-Natal experienced its most violent storm in years.

Njabulo Phehlukwayo watched television intently following the developments about the storm, as rain battered down outside his home.

Little did the self-employed father of six know that just a few hours later, he would be frantically searching for his son in the Ngxangxasi River nearby. 

Phehlukwayo's son Lwandile Kowa was among the storm's eight victims, a death toll that is expected to rise in the coming days.

"I was at home watching news and I saw the disaster on the television. I received a call from my aunt's phone. It was my sister. She told me there is a disaster that happened." 

His son, who was visiting a friend, was trapped under a bridge in the river.

'People just watching'

Phehlukwayo's parenting instincts immediately kicked in.

"That is when I got up, put on my overalls and ran. When I got there I saw people just watching."

The father screamed at those watching, demanding that they help. "I told them you have to look for my child. They told me the water was too strong."

Without so much as a thought, the desperate father jumped into the raging river in the midst of the torrential rain.

"I took off my overalls and went in."

Despite his bravery, Phehlukwayo understood that the current was far too strong. "When I got into the water I realised that it was too much and I was going to get swept away." 

Unrelenting, he asked people nearby to get a rope for him to tie around his waist. After fastening the rope, he continued searching for the boy. 

'This was too traumatic'

Eventually, he noticed his son's lifeless body stuck in a tree. He spent about four hours attempting to retrieve the youngster's body.

"I saw the body near a tree. For three or four hours I kept going in and out to try to get his body, but I could not."

Together with a crowd of people, Phehlukwayo resolved to tie the rope to the tree.

"We pulled and tugged and then the body came loose and drifted to the side on the river bank."

Phehlukwayo said he would always be scarred by the incident.

"I also lost my father this year. I was just getting over that when this happened. This was too traumatic. It is too hard. It is not even easy to sleep. I sleep intermittently.

"The family is not taking it well. All we can hope for is that he is in a better place."

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

News24 (@News24) | Twitter

The latest Tweets from News24 (@News24). News24 is Southern Africa and Africa's premier online news resource reaching over 2.3 million local users each month.

Read more on:    durban  |  storms  |  weather

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

 
ADVERTORIAL
Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.

/News
 

5 top leg exercises for men

Here’s our selection of the five best leg exercises that you can do in the comfort of your own home.

 
 

You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Pornhub is giving users free access to premium content this holidays
5 top leg exercises for men
10 best dressed men of 2017
How to open a beer bottle without an opener
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.