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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

WATCH: Rescue teams recover unidentified woman’s body under N1 bridge in Klip River

It is unclear whether the body is one of the two young persons that allegedly drowned in the Klip River.

Joburg search and rescue teams have recovered the body of an unidentified woman under the N1 bridge in the Klip River.

The body was recovered just before 12pm on Wednesday.

Johannesburg Emergency Services (EMS) spokesperson Xolile Khumalo said both Saps’ water wing and K9 units were on the scene.

“The body has not been identified. We are not certain whether it is one of the two young persons that allegedly drowned in Klip River and [was] missing.”

Wednesday marks five days since an 18-year-old woman and 21-year-old man drowned in the Klip River. They were allegedly conducting a cleansing ritual on Saturday morning when they were washed away after heavy rains swelled the river up.

The  City of Johannesburg Aquatic Rescue Unit, together with police divers, have been searching since Saturday afternoon to recover the bodies.

Khumalo said the search will continue along the river streams.

“EMS in collaborated efforts with Saps water wing and K9 units are inside the water probing for the bodies. The water level appears to be higher than it was yesterday posing a lot of challenges for all the teams.”

ALSO READ: Joburg EMS resume search for duo who drowned during cleansing ritual

Khumalo urged residents to be cautious during cleansing rituals and baptisms.

β€œEMS urges the community of Johannesburg, especially the traditional healers, prophets, sangomas or makhosi to please ensure that their congregants are their priority when conducting these rituals and ceremonies.”

Soweto drowning

The incident comes a week after Johannesburg EMS recovered the body of an 18-year-old teen who went drowned after falling into the Klip River in Soweto.

The incident happened after heavy rainfall, which resulted in flooding in several parts of Gauteng, accompanied by a sudden hailstorm that damaged infrastructure and vehicles.

According to Mulaudzi, the teen slipped and fell into the overflowing river.

The safety of families living along the banks of the Klip River has been brought into question following the incident.

Most of the homes were built years ago but are now badly dilapidated.

β€œLast year, there was a baby who drowned. The year before that, another boy was found in the river. This area is not safe,” said Hazel Lewis, who joined onlookers as the body was being removed.

Additional reporting by Silver Sibiya

ALSO READ: Body of missing teen recovered from Kliptown river

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