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WATCH | Ramaphosa hears first-hand accounts of losses, missing family members in KZN floods

President visits areas in eThekwini affected by flooding

13 April 2022 - 14:15
President Cyril Ramaphosa inspects the damage to property caused by torrential rains in New Germany.
President Cyril Ramaphosa inspects the damage to property caused by torrential rains in New Germany.
Image: Sandile Ndlovu

Residents of New Germany in eThekwini were among the first to be visited by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday when he headed to sites hard-hit by flooding.

The area, which borders a river, has seen several homes destroyed. Ramaphosa visited the home of the Gwala family, who lost a member in the flooding. 

Mabel Gwala, 69, was washed away on Monday and has not been seen since.

Her niece, Londi Gwala, explained what happened. 

“They phoned me and told me the house is getting very bad. At that time when they were trying to take things out of the room, that is when the water came. While she was taking things it swept her away and that was the last time we saw her.” 

President Cyril Ramaphosa inspects where Mabel Gwala lived in an outside building at the back of a main house. The building was swept away by the river and Gwala is missing.
President Cyril Ramaphosa inspects where Mabel Gwala lived in an outside building at the back of a main house. The building was swept away by the river and Gwala is missing.
Image: Sandile Ndlovu

The room was in an outside building at the back of the main house. The entire building was swept away.

Londi said it was not the first time there had been flooding in the area, but it was the first time water levels had risen so high. 

“They knew the water was going to come into the house. It is getting bad each year because the river is getting bigger. When I grew up here, it was a small river.”

Ramaphosa went into the Gwala home to speak to the family. 

He was joined by KwaZulu-Natal premier Sihle Zikalala and newly elected ANC regional chairperson Zandile Gumede. Gumede is a former mayor of eThekwini who is facing criminal charges in relation to allegations of corruption. 

President Cyril Ramaphosa speaks to family members who lost their home during the devastating rains on Monday
President Cyril Ramaphosa speaks to family members who lost their home during the devastating rains on Monday
Image: Mfundo Mkhize

Earlier Ramaphosa visited the Sokhela family in Clermont. They lost four family members in heavy downpours on Monday night.

Nhlanhla, 28, Sandile, 24, Luyanda, 16, and Olwethu, 12, died when their home collapsed.

LISTEN HERE:

Additional reporting by Mfundo Mkhize

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