Bridge vic­tim found at last

Mayor walks sev­eral kilo­me­tres in search to show sol­i­dar­ity with Mthiyane fam­ily

Weekend Witness - - News - THOBANI NGQULUNGA

EX­ACTLY six days af­ter Lihle Mthiyane (36) went miss­ing af­ter his car was swept off the Wood­house Road low­level bridge, his body sur­faced at the Grimthorpe Road low­level bridge.

His death has led Msun­duzi mayor Chris Ndlela, who joined in the search yes­ter­day, to com­mit to build­ing a bridge.

“We are sourc­ing funds to build a bridge. One more death is one more too many,” he said.

Ndlela added that in the mean­time the bridge will re­main closed, de­spite com­plaints from the com­mu­nity that it was used to by­pass traf­fic con­ges­tion. He said the low­level bridge is­sue needed fast ac­tion.

“We have no­ticed that th­ese in­ci­dents have oc­curred dur­ing the night and we un­der­stand that some peo­ple will com­plain when we close this bridge be­cause they use it to avoid traf­fic con­ges­tion, but we are still go­ing to widely consult on this mat­ter,” he said.

Mthiyane’s body was found by peo­ple who live near the Grimthorpe Road low­level bridge.

Lieu­tenant Jack Hask­ins, who was part of the search, said the body was found still in the wa­ter, stuck be­tween reeds.

A res­i­dent stopped a mo­torist, who then alerted mem­bers of the search and res­cue team.

Ndlela, who had ear­lier in the day joined the po­lice, the fire depart­ment, the Pi­eter­mar­itzburg Search and Res­cue team and lo­cal peo­ple, walked for sev­eral kilo­me­tres from the low­level bridge to the Grimthorpe Road bridge in Lin­coln Meade.

Ndlela said even though he had not walked such a dis­tance in a long time, it was im­por­tant for him to be part of the search to show sol­i­dar­ity with the Mthiyane fam­ily.

“We were not here look­ing for votes, but we wanted to show sol­i­dar­ity with our ratepay­ers and that we do care about what is go­ing on in their lives,” he said.

PHOTO: JONATHAN BUR­TON

Mayor Chris Ndlela helps with the search for the miss­ing body in the Duzi with the fire depart­ment and po­lice res­cue.

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