Family of municipal worker swept away in KZN storms relieved body found

Shandu and his colleague, Simphiwe Cele, both local municipal workers, went missing while they were on their way back home from a funeral in Harrismith on Saturday night.

Solomon Shandu and Simphiwe Cele were on their way back home from a colleague’s funeral in Harrismith on Saturday night, when their car was swept away as they were trying to cross the swollen Mdloti River. Picture: Bernadette Wicks/Eyewitness News

DURBAN - The family of Solomon Shandu, who had disappeared in the storms in KwaZulu-Natal over the weekend, has been left reeling following the discovery of his body.

Shandu and his colleague, Simphiwe Cele, both local municipal workers, went missing while they were on their way home from a funeral in Harrismith on Saturday. Their car was swept away as they were trying to cross the uMdloti River in Ndwedwe, north of Durban.

A five-day search for the men ended in tragedy on Thursday when both their bodies were recovered.

Inside a modest rondavel perched on a hillside in the picturesque Intaphuka area, Shandu's wife and daughters sit on the floor weeping.

A lone candle burns in the corner.

Ntombifuthi, his youngest daughter, said they're shattered: “We were hoping that we would find him alive.”

Her sister, Nomfundo, can't stop thinking about what their father's last moments were like.

“I feel so much pain imagining where was he, what was he doing.”

Heartbroken as they are, they are grateful to have found him. Nomfundo said they can now get closure.

“Our hearts will get the peace because we going to bury him, we going to know where his bones are. We have to give him some decent funeral so he can be feeling good.”