Desperate family await news of missing Kariega flood victim

The search for a missing Eastcape Midlands TVET College student continued on Sunday
GRIM TASK: The search for a missing Eastcape Midlands TVET College student continued on Sunday

Hope is fading for the family of a woman who went missing after the vehicle she and her friend were driving in was swept away by raging floods in Kariega last week.

Eastcape Midlands TVET College student Andiswa Ndabani, 21, was still missing  by the time of publication. 

Her friend Hlantla Mdiniso’s body had been retrieved from the Swartkops River bank in Cuyler Street.

Mdiniso, 21, was a student at the same college.

Police said the floods which wreaked havoc in the Bay over the past week-and-a-half had so far claimed the lives of at least 10 people.

The floods battered large areas of the Bay, including KwaNobuhle, Kariega, Walmer and Blue Horizon Bay.

On Sunday, both families were still at the scene, supporting one another.

And with the vehicle having been found submerged underwater, hope was slowly diminishing that Ndabani would be found alive.

A relative said they were too distraught to speak.

“Please speak to the police, I can’t do this right now,” the family member said.

Mdiniso’s family could not be reached for comment.

In a statement, the college said the two girls had last been seen leaving with a friend whose car was swept away by the floods.

The friend has been rescued.

“The disappearance of the students was reported to campus authorities on Monday, prompting immediate action,” it said.

“Following this report, the case was brought to the attention of the police, who have since launched a comprehensive search by their search and rescue unit.

“The authorities have been provided with all relevant information and are treating this situation with the utmost priority.

“College management is also in constant communication with the students’ families during this distressing time.”

It also said counselling services had been made available for any staff or students who might need support.

“The college understands the emotional impact this situation may have and is here to support you in any way we can.

“Our thoughts are with the families, friends and alma mater of the students during this difficult time.”

Speaking to The Herald on Sunday, the director for partnerships and linkages at Eastcape Midlands TVET College, Litehmba Sdeba, said: “Today is heavier than most.

“The police roped in all their resources to assist in locating the missing student,” he said.

“Emotions are running high at the scene. We are praying non-stop we’ll find her. The vehicle has been found.”

Police spokesperson Colonel Priscilla Naidu confirmed the vehicle had been found.

“[On Friday] the body of the 10th victim, a female who was reported missing in Kariega, was recovered on the Swartkops River bank in Cuyler Street,” she said.

“The victim went missing with a friend when their car was washed away in Kariega on June 1.

“The vehicle was also found submerged in water.”

She said an inquest docket had been opened.

Naidu said the victims’ families were from Cape Town.

She said searches for people who had not yet been accounted for were continuing by the police’s K9, search and rescue and diving units.



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