— Jeff Wicks (@wicks_jeff) April 13, 2017
Relatives of Lindelani Ntinga spent nearly 12 hours desperately searching for him – all the while he lay injured in a shallow river in the Paradise Valley Nature Reserve‚ west of Durban.
Not only was he injured and unable to move‚ but Ntinga did not know exactly where he was.
According to paramedics on the scene‚ who spoke to both Ntinga and family members‚ Ntinga had been thrown from the N3 Bridge by passengers in a minibus taxi after a heated argument at about 10pm on Wednesday night.
Sodden and dazed‚ a single phone call to his sister‚ Mabuyi‚ set in motion the family’s desperate search for him.
His cousin‚ Prince Gwala‚ says the fact that he survived is a miracle and recounted the night they spent searching for his missing relative.
“He phoned my sister at 10pm. He told her that he was underneath a bridge but he had no idea which bridge it was‚” he told TMG Digital. “He said he had been thrown from a moving vehicle. He was dazed and he couldn’t remember what had happened so clearly. He couldn’t tell me where he was.”
Gwala said that all Ntinga could say was that he could see cars above him.
“We started searching‚ checking any bridge we could think of. We started in Mariannhill‚ before the toll plaza‚ and also in Pinetown. In the morning we came here [to the N3 bridge] and when we were shouting his name‚ he shouted back‚” Gwala said.
He said that his family had rushed through bush to find Ntinga‚ who was still in the river.
“We ran down into the bush and found him by the river. He couldn’t stand and he couldn’t walk. He doesn’t even remember who did this to him. It is a miracle that he is alive. I am just so relieved that we found him‚” he said.
RescueCare paramedics and members of the police’s search and rescue unit stabilised Ntinga before carrying him out of the reserve to a waiting ambulance. He was taken to the RK Khan Hospital with suspected muscular injuries.
According to RescueCare’s Garrith Jamieson‚ the man was in a stable condition‚ despite his overnight order and 25m fall.