Two officers and a K-9 unit member die in KZN floods

Two South African Police Service (Saps) officers and a K-9 unit member have died as a result of the KwaZulu-Natal floods.

According to the police service, the officers were hard at work recovering those swept away by the torrential rains that have battered the province since Monday.

A 42-year-old female police diver who was a member of the Pietermaritzburg Search and Rescue (SAR) police diving unit, Sergeant Busisiwe Mjwara is one of the three women who died as a result of the floods during recovery operations.

It was reported that Sergeant Mjwara was conducting a search in the Msunduzi river for three victims that had drowned earlier in the week when she “faced difficulty” and drowned on Sunday morning.

The officer was airlifted to a hospital but upon arrival, she was declared dead.

It was reported that K-9 unit member, identified only as Leah from the Durban Central Search and Rescue (SAR) unit also drowned in the same operation as she was attempting to assist Sergeant Mjwara when she also “experienced difficulties.”

ALSO READ: KZN floods death toll rises to 443

The third official, identified as Constable Thandazile Sithole, 31, worked at the Durban Central Police Station and died when her home collapsed on her earlier this week.

Hers was one of many homes that collapsed due to the heavy rains this week.

According to Colonel Athlenda Mathe at least thirty police officers have been affected by the floods and some were left injured, and the majority have been displaced as their homes have been damaged during the heavy rains.

“As management, we will be looking into the immediate needs of all affected and see how best we can remedy the situation. I also wish to thank members of the Saps for upholding and enforcing the law during these challenging times as well as pay gratitude to those who remain at the forefront of the search and rescue operations”, said General Fannie Masemola.

“Members of the Employee Health and Wellness (EHW) unit have since been dispatched to provide psychosocial as well as trauma debriefing counselling services to all affected areas including police stations and units,” Colonel Mathe concluded.

ALSO READ: KZN Floods: Urgent calls for KwaZulu-Natal to be declared disaster area

Compiled by Lethabo Malatsi

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