Body of Limpopo man who drowned in crocodile infested dam retrieved

Despite scary interaction with an aggressive hippopotamus, members of the South African Police Service Search and Rescue Unit, managed to retrieve the body of a 26-year-old man who had drowned in the Thiergarten farm dam near Tzaneen in Limpopo. 

The victim and his 34-year-old colleague were reportedly working at the dam on Tuesday 6 September removing illegal fishing nets left behind by poachers who fled the area while being chased by the farmer. 


According to Limpopo police, the two were busy removing nets using a canoe without life jackets and in the process one of the nets caught a crocodile. While they were pulling the nets, the crocodile managed to pull away and the canoe capsized and both the farm workers fell into the dam. 

One of them managed to swim out while the other one drowned. The deceased has since been identified as Guidance Manganye from Giyani in Mopani, Limpopo. 

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Police spokesperson, Colonel Malesela Ledwaba said on Wednesday, the search operation commenced but had to be suspended when it became dark and because the dam is infested with crocodiles and hippos. 

SAPS Search and Rescue at the dam. Image: SAPS.

The rescue team reportedly had to acquire suitable equipment to repel the hippos before retrieving the body.

“After long and gruelling hours the body was retrieved from the dam and not before the team had to negotiate their way, be alert and cautious about the presence of these dangerous animals,” Malesela said.

An inquest docket has been opened and police investigations are continuing.

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