April 13, 2021

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Dismembered body washes ashore KZN river mouth

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KwaZulu-Natal are looking into the circumstances around the drowning of a 17-year-old man whose body was recovered from the Umgababa River mouth this week, with his right arm missing. Umkomaas police says the deceased sustained injuries to his torso, and his right arm was missing. Law enforcement authorities are probing the drowning incident. Beach drownings tend to pick up around the festive seasons as holiday makers visit the beach. The South African National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) previously told media that the influx of Festive Season revellers in addition to alcohol consumption and misinformation wreak havock on the country’s beach fronts during the festive period.

READ: Festive Season drownings spike after deadly weekend at sea

2020 festive season could see a dip in drownings

On Monday evening, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the government would be imposing stricter lockdown regulations, in light of the recent spike in coronavirus infections. Not only were gatherings capped and the curfew extended by an hour, but beaches in hot spot areas were banned.

All beaches will be closed in all of the Eastern Cape and the Garden Route district, from 16 December to 3 January. In KwaZulu-Natal, beaches will be closed on 16, 25, 26 and 31 December as well as 1, 2 and 3 January. Beaches and public parks in the Western Cape and Northern Cape will remain open but the former can only be visited between 09:00 and 18:00. Alcohol can only be sold from Mondays to Thursdays between 10 am and 18:00 pm.

These tightened restrictions may result in a dip in the number of drowning incidents.

Heavy police presence on beaches

The South African on Friday reported that Western Cape MEC of Community Safety, Albert Fritz, has expressed deep concern regarding Police Minister Bheki Cele’s oversight of Cape Town beaches this week. Fritz said he was escorted by heavily armed police officers to oversee compliance at some of Cape Town’s beaches and claimed it was not necessary. To add insult to injury, Fritz said many hard-working SAPS officers battle to fight violent crime in many communities, often without the proper resourcing they need from the National Government.

Cele has also come under fire for halting the production set of a beach commercial in Clifton, claiming the shoot contravened the newly imposed regulations on beaches.