KZN sangomas drown during initiation ceremony in river

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Three sangomas died during an initiation ceremony in KZN on Saturday.
Three sangomas died during an initiation ceremony in KZN on Saturday.
Durban Metro Police
  • Three sangomas drowned during an initiation ceremony in KwaZulu-Natal.
  • The bodies were recovered and handed over to the police.
  • Fatal drowning is the fifth leading cause of unintentional death in South Africa.

Three sangomas drowned during a weekend initiation ceremony in the Mbokodweni River in the Folweni area, south of Durban, Times LIVE reported.

Metro police spokesperson Senior Superintendent Parboo Sewpersad reportedly said members of the metro police search and rescue unit, together with the South African Police Service search and rescue team, were called to the scene on Saturday.

A group of about 16 sangomas were busy with an initiation ceremony when three of them – two women and a man – reportedly got into difficulty and drowned.

According to Times LIVE, a search was conducted and the bodies of a 65-year-old woman, a 62-year-old man and a 24-year-old woman were recovered and handed over to members of the Folweni police.

"Our members managed to recover the bodies from the river, bring closure to the families of the victims," Sewpersad reportedly said.

In December 2019, a "prophet" and a teenage congregant drowned during a "spiritual ceremony" in a Limpopo river, News24 reported earlier.

The incident occurred at the Ngwedi River between Tshilapfene and Makwarani villages after about 12 congregants of a local church from Mashau village in the Vuwani policing precinct gathered at the river for prayer and other spiritual ceremonies.

According to Statistics South Africa, fatal drowning is the fifth leading cause of unintentional death in South Africa.

- Compiled by Riaan Grobler

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