A woman from Mokwete village near Jane Furse, Limpopo, has died after being attacked by a crocodile while crossing the Lepelle (Olifants) River from Tsimanyane village to attend a church service in the neighbouring Kolokotela village.
Tumelo Makunyanewho, an eyewitness, says he was with the victim at the time of the attack.
He says Mavis Mohlala, 39, and Mpho Mohlala, 28 (no relation) made their way to church, crossing the river at about 19:00 on Saturday, October 5.
They were about to finish crossing the river when Mavis raised their eyebrows, shouting “Help! Help!” as a crocodile started dragging her back into the water.
Makunyane said they rushed back to the river. Mpho used a stick and poked the crocodile in the eyes to chase it off.
Mavis was left with serious injuries to her legs. Makunyane phoned his cousin who came with his car and rushed Mavis to the local Matlala hospital.
Makunyane blames the hospital for allegedly delaying Mavis’ transfer to the Mankweng hospital in Polokwane for proper treatment.
Not happy with treatment
Mavis’ mother, Anna Mohlala, says she visited her daughter and she was not happy about the treatment she was receiving.
Mavis complained about not having any strength after losing too much blood.
The mother said the doctor promised the family that she had communicated with doctors from Mankweng, arranging for her daughter to be transferred.
Mavis died on October 9. Now the family wants answers.
The community has been complaining about the need for a bridge to be built between the villages for some years now.
On the same night of the attack on Mavis, Thabang Mogodi, 24, was also attacked by a crocodile while trying to cross the river. He was rushed to hospital where he was treated for injuries sustained.
Limpopo provincial police spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo said police have opened an inquest.
The Matlala hospital did not respond to requests for comment. Limpopo Health MEC Dr Phophi Ramathuba’s office said the matter would be investigated.