Several families in and around Durban have not yet found the bodies of their missing loved ones after last month’s devastating floods. Over 400 people died while thousands were displaced.
Sinenhlanhla Hlope was one of nine family members at home in KaCutshwayo, west of Durban, when mudslides collapsed and washed away their home.
The body of just one family member, her mother, has been found. But she says seven of her loved ones remain missing, among them, her one-year-old son.
Hlope says, “There are eight members from our family who were washed away by floods, we believe they are late, we found our mother at the Desai River few kilometres away from here dead, we have buried her, but the other seven people are still missing, we those tasked to search for the missing people not to give up, we will only get closure by at least burying our loved ones.”
Nearby, the Ntuli family suffered a similar fate, the floods claimed six of their relatives. All of them are still missing. Zibuyile Ntuli says, “The wall fell on my sister and we saw violent water washing all of us away, For a few seconds I heard them crying but eventually they went silent, I had a tree that blocked me from being swept far by water, what can help me find closure is finding them, I have gone to mortuaries searching for them but they are not there, I am praying to find their remains will assist me to accept their departure. I am struggling to accept they are not since I have not heard of a chance to bury them.”