KwaZulu-Natal - The search for missing Pietermaritzburg father of two, Asogan Govender, has come to a crushing end.
Police divers retrieved his body from the murky waters of the Msunduzi River on Wednesday
But, for the families of the three teachers from Nquthu in rural Northern KZN, whose car was swept away by the gushing waters of the Chibide River, the agony continues.
The bodies of Phakamani Sikhakhane, Sabelo Buthelezi and Sizwe Ngobese have still not been found.
But, air and land searches are continuing.
A search of the river was launched for Govender on Sunday, when he made a distress call to his family in the early hours of the morning that he had been washed away at a low-level bridge in Woodhouse Road.
Govender’s Kia Sorento SUV was recovered by police from the river on Tuesday, 7km downstream from the bridge.
His body was recovered 6km from his vehicle.
Police spokeswoman Lieutenant Joey Jeevan, said it was believed that after Govender’s vehicle was swept off the bridge, he may have got into some difficulty in the water and subsequently drowned.
Govender’s brother Elvis, said the family had been bracing for the worst, but that it had hit them hard.
“Nobody expects something like this to happen… it was a freak accident,” he said. “We are shattered.”
Other family members were too emotional to speak to the media yesterday
Family friends described Govender as a “devoted family man who always had a smile on his face”. Govender was married with two children: a four-year-old son and a daughter at university.
He had been visiting his brother in Raisethorpe on Saturday night, and was returning to his home in Scottsville at around 1am on Sunday when the incident happened.
Govender made a distress call to his cousin Kenny Naidoo, telling him he was in the water and needed help.
But before he could say anything more, the line went dead.
Family rushed to the low-level bridge, but due to the heavy rainfall and inclement weather they could not see anything.
The family reported the incident to police and a full scale search was launched, but the heavy current and swell of the river due to the torrential rains at the weekend hampered the search. - Daily News