DOCUMENTARY | When the Rains Came

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  • The country is still reeling from its deadliest storm on record.
  • The torrential rains and resultant flooding killed at least 459 people in KwaZulu-Natal, and some 88 are still missing.
  • News24 brings you exclusive footage and the stories of those who were most affected the day the rains came.


In the dead of night on 9 April 2022, rain started falling in KwaZulu-Natal and over the weekend, it developed into roaring water and howling winds that ripped through homes.

By morning, those fortunate enough to survive the stormy weather woke up to destruction, devastation and death. 

Phumlani Ntetha, 30, watched helplessly as the Umlazi River destroyed the home he had spent years building. But he escaped with his life.

An image of Sizwe Mbotho sitting at the back of a van next to the body of his 6-year-old son, Khetokuhle, served as one of many visual reminders of just how much people in KwaZulu-Natal had lost. Their home collapsed due to a landslide, and the little boy died.

News24 found Mbotho desperately trying to flag down police cars and the very few emergency services vehicles that passed by.

Kzn floods
Sizwe Mbotho seated at the back of a police van with five lifeless bodies, including his son, who died after their home collapsed in the KwaZulu-Natal floods.

And he was not alone in his grief.

The torrential rains and resultant flooding killed at least 459 people, and some 88 are still missing. A state of disaster was declared, and critical infrastructure suffered damage that ran into billions.

And now, three months later, the country is still reeling from its deadliest storm on record.

In When the Rains Came, News24 journalists who went into the heart of the disaster-stricken province share their insight into the catastrophe. They spoke to people who lost everything and to those who rescued and rebuilt after the storm. 

News24 brings you exclusive footage and the stories of those who were most affected the day the rains came.


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