Drowning victims suspected to have snuck into closed off section of Midmar Dam

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Midmar Dam.
Midmar Dam.

Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife suspects that the two people who drowned at Midmar Dam on Wednesday could have snuck into the property as the section where they drowned was closed off to the public.

On Wednesday a 12-year-old boy was pronounced dead after he was pulled out of the water at Midmar Dam.

A second body, unrelated to the boy’s drowning, was by chance discovered in the dam nearby when the paramedics from the Midlands EMS responded to the call for help.

According to a statement released by the Midlands EMS, the 12-year-old had been swimming when he got into trouble and was pulled from the water. Paramedics found the child lying motionless on the side of the dam. His father was at the scene.

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Attempts to resuscitate the boy were unsuccessful and he was declared dead at the scene.

Then, paramedics made the gruesome discovery of another lifeless man a mere 500 metres from where the 12-year-old had drowned.

He was floating face-down in the water. This man was removed from the water by SAPS Search and Rescue Unit.

It was later established that he went missing from Pietermaritzburg on January 10 and a missing persons report had been opened by the police.

KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson, Colonel Thembeka Mbele, said an inquest docket is being investigated by Howick SAPS after the 12-year-old boy drowned at Midmar Dam in Howick.

“It is alleged that the deceased was swimming at dam with his friends when he got into difficulty and drowned. While the members were busy searching for the 12-year-old boy they noticed another body floating in the dam,” said Mbele.

She said the man’s body was identified as 65-year-old Osman Hoosen Bux who was reported missing in Mountain Rise SAPS on January 10. She said the matter is also still under investigation.

ALSO READ | Body of drowned KZN teen recovered in Richards Bay lake

Hoosen Bux’s uncle, Mehboob Hanif, said they are all from Estcourt and Hoosen Bux had come to Pietermaritzburg to have meetings at a Mosque in Allandale.

“He was last seen on Sunday [January 10] in the Allandale area. The people who last saw him said he said he was taking a walk. His body was found at Midmar Dam on Wednesday, he was still fully clothed, and the post-mortem report said he definitely died of drowning.

“We were worried sick about him, but we’re glad we finally found him,” said Hanif.

Musa Mntambo, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife’s spokesperson, said people were only allowed to go to Midmar Dam for picnics as no water activities were allowed now due to Covid-19 regulations.

Mntambo said the drownings did not happen at the common Midmar Dam where you drive in through the main gate and down to the dam, but at Orient Park.

“To get there, instead of turning right to go to Midmar Dam after offramping from the N3, you go straight, past a residential area and then you’ll come across Orient Park. It’s normally used to host jazz or New Year’s Eve festivals.

“They must have snuck in somewhere because the gate to the park is always locked but there are no security guards. We monitor the area every now and then because there are normally no people in that part of the dam,” said Mntambo.

In another separate incident, Thandokuhle Msane (six) tragically drowned on Wednesday afternoon, while swimming with a group of his friends in the Mnamfu river lagoon, Hibberdene area.

ALSO READ | Six-year-old drowns while swimming in South Coast lagoon

Ladysmith Herald reported that despite the no swimming along beaches regulations, Msane and a group of friends ventured into the water.

Port Shepstone Search and Rescue, K9 SAPS and Medevac were called to the scene by members of the community.

It is said that the boys were seen swimming in the lagoon from about 2 pm.

“It was not long after that Msane had gotten into trouble and disappeared under the water, the group of friends had immediately contacted members of their community, who called the police,” said police officials on the scene.

An inquest will be investigate.

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