Pretoria - The Gauteng police search and rescue unit on Saturday recovered the body of a man in his 30s from the Stinkwater Dam, north of Pretoria.
The victim was one of five men said to have drowned in the dam on Thursday while allegedly performing a church ritual.
The five were among eight men who had gone to the dam. They are said to have been naked, had held hands, and the water pressure had risen, sweeping them off their feet and overpowering them.
Some managed to make it back to shore, and they alerted the police of the others who had drowned. Immediate rescue operations ensured that four had been the pulled out.
Provincial Police spokesperson Colonel Dimakatso Sello yesterday said the five men had been swept away by raging waters.
“Four bodies were recovered by the SAPS Diving Unit on Thursday, while the fifth body was recovered on Saturday.
“The victims are all men aged between 31 and 50,” she said.
The police registered an inquest docket after the incident.
The Tshwane Emergency Services continues to warn the community of Stinkwater to avoid performing rituals or swimming in the local park, as drowning incidents have been at a peak at the dam.
In September 2020, police fished the body of an unknown man out of the same dam after reports that a body could be seen floating in it.
Police at the time said the body was that of an black man who appeared to be in his 50s, and who had no visible injuries. While they had opened an inquest, they said they suspected no foul play.
Three months later, in December, the body of 12-year-old Keitumetse Banda was found dumped near the secluded dam, with police saying she had been raped and murdered.
In 2019, three boys drowned while swimming in the same dam, to which Emergency Services Deputy Chief Charles Mabaso had said: “Tshwane Emergency Services responded to a drowning at a park in Stinkwater at around midday on December 26. Upon arrival on scene, two bodies of boys aged between 8 and 9 had already been recovered by members of the community.
“A third body was recovered by emergency services personnel after a family claimed that their child was (also) missing. The Tshwane Emergency Services Department calls on residents to avoid swimming at the park, as the water not only poses a drowning risk but a health hazard too.”