The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (POPCRU) has noted with sadness the devastating impact of the floods that ravaged parts of the province of Kwa Zulu-Natal, leaving thousands destitute. As a result, there has been loss of life, damage to infrastructure, property and loss of livelihoods.
It is reported that up to 443 people have lost their lives thus far, while 63 more are still missing.
We wish to convey our message of condolences to all the affected families, including those of Sergeant Busisiwe Mjwara, a female police diver who was attached to the Pietermaritzburg Search and Rescue (SAR) police diving unit, whom at the time of her passing was conducting a search in the Msunduzi river for three victims that had drowned earlier last week, when she got into difficulty and drowned.
During the same operation, K9 Leah from the Durban Central Search and Rescue (SAR) unit also drowned. According to reports, Leah was attempting to assist Sergeant Mjwara when she also experienced difficulties, demonstrating the extreme nature of the floods encountered.
The other member, Constable Thandazile Sithole who was attached to the Durban Central Police Station, died when her home collapsed on her earlier this week.
Our men and women in blue continue to pay the ultimate sacrifice while protecting and serving the people of South Africa, leaving behind orphaned kids and widowed husbands and wives. The bravery and selfless efforts they continue to display should never go unnoticed.
At least thirty police officers have been adversely affected by these floods, with some injured, while a majority, as part of communities, are displaced after their homes were washed away.
POPCRU wishes all those affected a speedy recovery, and calls for prompt efforts for the rehabilitation of homes and the concerned infrastructure.
We also wish members from the SAPS Search and Rescue (SAR), the SAPS Airwing, the K9 units as well as frontline officers who are being deployed to these disaster-stricken areas in reinforcing the search and rescue operations all the best in their thankless efforts.
Issued by POPCRU on 18/04/2022