Gauteng motorists have been warned against driving on flooded roads and to keep far away from low-lying areas.
The warning comes after flood waters on Witkoppen and Rivonia roads swept away a 30-year-old woman who was driving through Sunninghill, a business and residential area in Sandton.
Nomsa Zulu was swept into the Jukskei River after she drove through a pool of water at the intersection of the two roads.
Though Zulu’s vehicle has been recovered, crews from Johannesburg Emergency Management Services (EMS) are continuing with the search for her body.
The aquatic team launched a search and rescue operation that lasted for nine days, according to EMS, with assistance from the SA Police Service, National Rescue South Africa, and Gauteng Traffic Police.
Body expected to surface
EMS spokesperson Xolile Khumalo said after at least five days in the water, Zulu’s body was expected to surface.
If it does not surface, it is suspected that the body is immersed in sand or debris, said Khumalo.
The worst-case scenario, according to Khumalo, might be that the body floated to a nearby river that is not under Johannesburg’s authority.
The case has been turned over to the police, according to Khumalo, who also said that the EMS has asked a nearby municipality to keep an eye out for Zulu’s remains.
“The EMS has since handed the case over to SAPS to continue the investigation.”
“We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the entities that supported the operation; our heartfelt sympathy is extended to the family during this time,” said Khumalo.
Johannesburg rivers have become death traps following a spate of drownings during baptism rituals recently.
In November, two women aged 18 and 21 drowned while participating in a baptism along the Kliprivier River stream in Olifantsvlei in the south of Johannesburg.
The bodies had not been found by the police when the search and rescue operation was called off.
The EMS urged residents, traditional healers, prophets, and pastors to ensure the safety of congregants while conducting the cleansing or baptism rituals.