Two people have drowned in Matabeleland South province while fishing and attempting to drive cattle across a dam.


A 17-year-old from Filabusi drowned after he attempted to drive cattle across a dam while holding onto the tail of a cow. Matabeleland South provincial police spokesperson, Inspector Philisani Ndebele said Joseph Mpofu who was employed as a herdboy attempted to across Silalatshane Dam on Monday around 9AM, leading to his death.

“There is a 17-year-old who drowned in Silalatshane Dam which is near Zenzele Village in Filabusi area. Joseph was in the company of Thembinkosi Siziba (20) and they were driving cattle from Manzamhlophe area to their homes when the incident occurred.

“When they got to the dam, they decided to use a shorter route by driving the cattle across the dam. Joseph went in first and held the tail of a cow in order to get across the river. When he was about to reach the other side of the dam, he lost grip and drowned,” he said.

Insp Ndebele said Siziba who had remained on the other side of the dam watched helplessly as his friend drowned.

He said Siziba rushed to the village where he reported the matter and the teenager’s body was retrieved.

Insp Ndebele urged members of the public to desist from crossing flooded rivers or dams as that puts their lives at risk.

“We continue to urge people to stay away from water sources as they will be risking their lives. In this case the teenager lost his life just because he wanted to use the quickest route to get home although it meant endangering his life.

“People would rather use longer routes but reach their destinations safely especially during the rainy season. They should not attempt to cross flooded rivers or dams. If rivers are full and there is no other route they should wait until the water levels have subsided,” he said.

Meanwhile, a 37-year-old Esigodini man drowned during a fishing expedition at Upper Ncema Dam last week.

Insp Ndebele said Farai Ndlovu of Plot 5 drowned on Thursday last week and his body was retrieved on Sunday afternoon.

He said Ndlovu was fishing alone in the dam when he is suspected to have drowned.

“We are investigating a case of drowning where a man from Esigodini drowned while fishing at Upper Ncema Dam. Farai Ndlovu left home on 11 January in the morning for fishing but he didn’t return home as expected.

“His family became worried and they contacted relatives and friends to locate Ndlovu but they were not successful,” he said.

Insp Ndebele said the family filed a missing person’s report and police found Ndlovu’s belongings: a fishing basket, hooks and clothes, near the dam.

Insp Ndebele said members of the sub aqua team retrieved Ndlovu’s body from the dam on Sunday around 1PM.

He said Ndlovu did not have visible injuries and his body was taken for post mortem.

“As police we continue to urge members of the public to be careful when they are around water sources especially now during the rainy season,” he said.