The SAPS in Thohoyandou has opened two cases of inquest after a "prophet" and a teenage congregant drowned during a "spiritual ceremony" in a Limpopo river on Thursday.
According to police spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo, the 26-year-old "prophet" and the 16-year-old congregant drowned at around 13:00.
"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 this river for prayer and other spiritual ceremonies.
"The prophet and the teenager allegedly got into the water and drowned."
The police's search-and-rescue service and medical emergency services were summoned and, on arrival, started with a search.
"The bodies were later retrieved. The deceased were identified as Kone Mutali [the "prophet"] and Neluheni Steven.
'Members of the community are once again cautioned to be extra careful when they are around dams and rivers for any reason, including religious activities," Mojapelo said.
"Residents are further advised to only get into the water if it is safe to do so and are able to swim, to prevent this type of incident from happening again."
Police investigations are still continuing.