Mthatha Express

Initiate still missing after drowning in Mzimvubu River

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Beka Manqindi (19), from Mhlanga locality in Mbizana, was an initiate who drowned while attending an initiation school in Mount Frere and is still missing.
Beka Manqindi (19), from Mhlanga locality in Mbizana, was an initiate who drowned while attending an initiation school in Mount Frere and is still missing.
Photo: Supplied

While other families celebrated the festive season with loved ones, the Manqindi family from Mhlanga locality in Mbizana spent their holidays worrying about their son, Beka Manqindi (19), who was swept away by floods on December 14.

At the time he was in one of the initiation schools in Mount Frere.

Beka’s mother, Nosiphiwo Manqindi (59), said he was in Grade 11 in Johannesburg and after his final exams had asked to go to the initiation school. She had refused because she was not financially prepared for this and her plan was to keep saving for this expense.

“Since he was forcing things, I ended up allowing him to go back home to Bizana, in order to continue with what he wanted. I thought I was lucky because my nephew was preparing for his journey, and four other boys from our locality,” said Manqindi.

On the day of the incident, some of the boys from this initiation school allegedly went to wash their bodies at Mzimvubu River in Mount Frere, where two of them drowned.

Manqindi indicated that the body of another boy was found in Ntabankulu, far from the area where the incident happened.

“Unfortunately my son is still missing and I have to go back to work now. I wish I can get his bones so that I can bury him, at least I will find peace. It is hard for me to sleep at night because I want this to come to an end. I appeal to the government to assist me to find my son.”

Police had tried to search for the body, but could not find him.

Police spokesperson, Brigadier Tembinkosi Kinana, confirmed they were aware of the incident and had opened an inquest docket, and divers had promised to go back with a chopper for a final search since their initial search had yielded no result.

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