Floating body found in Knysna dam
Knysna residents were alarmingly reminded of their water woes this week when news of a body found in the town’s Akkerkloof Dam over the weekend surfaced by Monday 3 September.
A couple of locals exploring the area around the dam made the gruesome discovery on Sunday 2 September at about 11:45 and immediately notified police.
Nardus Rademeyer and his friend Carl Schmall were just coming to the end of some 4x4 adventuring around the dam when they stopped to deactivate the diff lock on their vehicle and noticed what they eventually identified as a floating corpse. “We were shocked - when do you ever walk around a dam and find a body like that?” Rademeyer related on Monday.
‘I got closer and saw hair’
At first, said Rademeyer, he thought it might have just been some floating, discarded clothing when Schmall pointed the strange object out to him. “But the clothes weren’t bundled up in the water like you might expect, they formed the shape of a body. As I got closer to the object and saw hair, I knew immediately it was the back of someone’s head,” he said.
The next thing that came to his mind, he said, was here was someone’s father, brother or son just floating in the water. “How can someone do this to another person?” He added that more items of clothing – among them a jersey or jacket – were found around the area and that a smell had started emanating from the corpse.
Asked if Rademeyer could note anything identifiable about the body – whether the person was male or female, its race or age – Rademeyer plainly said, “No, I didn’t even want to touch it.”
Dam a source of drinking water
As most residents know by now, the dam in which the body was found – the Akkerkloof Dam – is one of the town’s sources of drinking water. The dam is fed by the Glebe Dam and runs off into a balancing dam where it is subject to a treatment process before it is distributed to residents.
What danger does this corpse in the water then pose to the public who consumes this water daily?
Knysna Municipality said on Wednesday 5 September in its response to the KnysnaPlett Herald’s queries, that the corpse “has no impact on drinking water”. It added that, according to information supplied by police, the body was found in “close proximity” to the dam.
“These matters are not related, we suggest that you contact the police for further information,” it concluded.
According to police spokesperson Sergeant Chris Spies, the Knysna detective branch has opened an inquest docket and a postmortem would be held later this week to determine the cause of death.
Asked for further information regarding the deceased’s appearance and if foul play is suspected, Spies said he could not provide any further information.