A search is currently underway for an 18-year-old woman and a 21-year-old man who were swept away during a cleansing ritual along the Kliprivier stream in Olifantsvlei, south of Johannesburg. The City of Johannesburg Emergency Management Services Aquatic Rescue Unit and the SAPS Water Wing are actively involved in efforts to recover the bodies. However, fears persist that the individuals may have succumbed, as reported by Eyewitness News.
The incident occurred on Saturday during a ceremony led by a traditional healer, who managed to escape the stream unharmed. Despite extensive search efforts on Sunday, the operation was temporarily halted before resuming today. Families and loved ones are expected to be present at the scene.
City of Joburg EMS spokesperson Robert Mulaudzi emphasised the importance of caution during cleansing rituals to prevent such incidents. This plea follows a similar tragedy last week, where a young man, aged 18, lost his life after slipping into a stream in Kliptown, south of Johannesburg. The recovery operation spanned two days.
Mulaudzi also urged parents and guardians to be vigilant about the whereabouts of their children, especially when near bodies of water. Concurrently, the South African Weather Service warned about extremely high temperatures in most parts of Johannesburg until Friday. Residents are advised to exercise caution, stay hydrated, avoid direct sunlight during peak hours, and take breaks to prevent heat-related illnesses, given the risk of heat exhaustion and heat cramps leading to heatstroke.
Take a look at the tweet below:
[JUST IN] The City of Johannesburg Emergency Management Services Aquatic Rescue Unit together with Saps Water Wing are currently searching for two bodies washed away during a Cleansing ritual (an 18-year-old girl and a 21-year-old boy).#TheStarNewspaper pic.twitter.com/0xNn15rKQp
— The Star (@TheStar_news) November 20, 2023
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Photo by Lalithmalhaar Gudi on Unsplash