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Compiled by Vhahangwele Nemakonde

Digital Deputy News Editor

Two drown during cleansing ritual in Joburg river

The Joburg EMS has called on religious leaders to ensure the safety of their congregants when conducting rituals.

The City of Joburg EMS Aquatic Rescue Unit and the South African Police Service (SAPS) Water Wing are searching for bodies of an 18-year-old girl and a 21-year-old man who drowned at the Klip River in Olifantsvlei on Saturday night.

According to Joburg EMS spokesperson Robert Mulaudzi, the two drowned during a cleansing ritual.

“We would like to urge our traditional healers, prophets, pastors to ensure safety while conducting this cleansing/baptism rituals so that we can prevent incidents like this one,” said Mulaudzi.

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This comes a few days after a 12-year-old child went missing after being swept out to sea by a rip current in Velddrif, Western Cape, on Wednesday.

According to the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI), the organisation’s Mykonos duty crew was activated by the SA Police Service (SAPS) in response to eyewitness reports of a drowning in progress in Veldrift, Laaiplek.

The SA Police Services, SAPS WPDS (Water Policing and Dive Services), NSRI Mykonos rescue swimmers, who were conducting routine training in the area at the time, the NSRI Mykonos, West Coast Medical and WC Government Health EMS responded.

ALSO READ: Body of missing teen recovered from Kliptown river

“On arrival on the scene, a search commenced for a local male child, believed to be aged approximately 12 years old, who had gone missing in the water after reportedly being caught in rip currents in the wave line during an outgoing tide,” said the NSRI.

“SAPS WPDS divers launched a Police boat. NSRI Mykonos launched their NSRI rescue craft Rotary Onwards from our NSRI Mykonos satellite station at St Helena Bay.”

The boy has still not been found.

Last week in Gauteng, the Johannesburg Emergency Services recovered the body of an 18-year-old teen who went missing after falling into the Klipvalley 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 spokesperson Robert Mulaudzi, the teen slipped and fell into the overflowing river on Tuesday.

READ MORE: Search on for teen boy swept out to sea in Velddrif rip current