WATCH | KZN floods: Search and rescue team finds body near Umgeni River

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A search and rescue team found a body on Monday after spending two hours searching for victims of the KwaZulu-Natal floods along the Umgeni River in Molweni.

Officers received a tip-off from a man who reported that his children, who were playing near the river, had seen a human arm protruding from the sand.

It took the search and rescue team more than two hours to find the body of the man trapped below the river bank.

The body is believed to be a man in his 30s.

The search and rescue team had to be delicate in retrieving the body from the sandy soil.

They used shovels to remove the soil covering the body, to avoid inflicting more damage to it.

"He is out. Let's put him in the body bag," a policeman shouted to his visibly exhausted colleagues.

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Bonginkosi Mkhize said his children, who herd cattle near the river, alerted him on Saturday evening about the body.

"They said they had seen a human arm protruding from the riverbank. I informed our ward councillor the following day, and he referred me to the police.

"I called the police and directed them to the place where my boys had shown. I understand that they struggled to find it because it was covered by sand. I am happy that his family will find closure.

"As a traditional healer, it is imperative to know where your relative is buried. Death is painful," Mkhize said.

The search first started at a stream of water in Amaoti, where the team searched for Zamile Dlawu, 38, without success.

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According to Dlawu's sister-in-law, Bongeka Zulu, he was last seen on 11 April.

"He disappeared while crossing a bridge in the township.

"After hearing the news, we were joined by residents in looking for him. We searched for him in many places, but, unfortunately, we didn't find him.

"I am confident that the search and rescue team will help us find him. They are dedicated in their job," Zulu said.

Kwazulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala recently revealed that more than 121 000 were affected by heavy floods.

"About 17 438 households were affected, 435 people lost their lives. We have 54 people reported missing. About 278 people remain homeless, and 55 others were injured," Zikalala said.

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