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Chatsworth family of eight perish in deadly storm

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Durban – Grown men wept bitterly as the bodies of eight family members, including two toddlers, were pulled from the rubble of their collapsed Westcliff home on Monday night and Tuesday morning.

Monday night’s storm ravaged KwaZulu-Natal, with Chatsworth being among one of the hardest-hit areas.

The heavy rains resulted in mudslides and flooding which left a trail of death and destruction. More than 70 people are reported dead in the province.

The family, whose identities have not been disclosed until their next of kin have been informed, were living in a house situated behind Westcliff Secondary, on Crimby Road.

The head of the family worked as the school’s care-taker.

According to rescue services at the scene, two family members were found alive and one was found dead on Monday night.

The other seven bodies were recovered by members of the community and police on Tuesday afternoon.

Men as old as 75 were on their hands and knees digging through the mud, searching for possible survivors, POST reported.

Bayview resident Steven Mudaly, 75, said he heard from his daughter-in-law that the house had collapsed and immediately went out to assist.

“The search had to stop on Monday night because the area was unstable. It resumed late on Tuesday.

“I joined the rescue operation, carrying rubble away from the scene in the hope we would find the family alive.”

Reverend Jonathan Naidoo, of the AFM Church, said it was heartbreaking when they found the body of a woman in the debris.

“Grown men burst out crying. It was very sad. It was even more heartbreaking when the bodies of two children – aged one and two – were found,” said an emotional Naidoo.

The body of another woman was also found clutching her son.

He said he had last seen the family at the weekend during an Easter church roadshow.

“They came to our church and shared a meal with us. We even gave them hampers.

“We knew the family well. The children always played on the road and were often seen laughing and being mischievous. We are planning to hold their funeral at our church hall.”

A Crimby Avenue resident cried as she told how she looked after one of the children in her crèche.

Cookie Jugmohan, 45, said the 4-year-old boy was very close to her.

“He was our baby. I was always kept a close eye on him and fussed over him. When I heard this family was affected I couldn’t handle it. My husband and I left our own flooded home to see how we could support this family.”

She said she did not expect to see the bodies still under the debris.

Jugmohan said on Monday night, her family was also trapped in their own home.

“My husband and I had to send our dogs over the fence and we took our kids upstairs and waited. The downstairs, which is on road level, was completely flooded and the water was as high as our hips.”

Another resident, Melleni David, 43, said she was the first person on the scene on Tuesday morning.

“Last night my husband and I came out to help but we were told it was not safe so we decided to return in the morning.

“I was here at 7am. We are standing together as a community and trying to help those affected by the storm. It is heartwarming to see the Chatsworth community rally in time of need.”

The chairperson of the Chatsworth and Districts Civic Federation, Teddy Govender, said this was the second time in two years that Chatsworth had been hard hit by a storm.

He said the city needed a disaster management plan for the area.

“We need more localised disaster management in the area. We are a huge community and from previous floods, we know families are always left displaced.”

He added that “one life lost, was one too many”. POST

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Look: 4 critically injured in tanker and bus crash on N3

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Tanker and bus on fire mooi river

Four people have been injured and multiple others injured when a tanker truck, a bus and other vehicles were involved in a serious crash on N3 north just before the Hidcote off ramp in Mooi River.

Netcare 911’s Shawn Herbst said that paramedics responded to the accident scene at 15H42 on Monday afternoon.

“Netcare 911 with Nsele Ambulance Services Responded to a collision on the N3 Johannesburg bound in Hidcote KZN Midlands region.

Reports indicate that a bus, tanker and multiple cars were involved in a collision leaving four people critical and approximately fourty-four other patients with minor to serious injuries,” said Hersbt.

The fire and rescue services are currently on scene trying to extinguish the fire to determine if any deaths have occurred.

This is a developing story.

Tanker and bus on fire mooi river

Tanker bus accident hidcote

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Attorney Theasen Pillay found deceased in his Umhlanga Ridge apartment

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Attorney Theasan Pillay death

Durban – Lawyer Theasan Pillay, 47, from attorneys Theasan Pillay and Associates has been found dead in his apartment on Solstice road in Umhlanga Ridge on Friday morning.

Private security company, Reaction Unit South Africa (Rusa) reported that they received a call at 11h34 on Friday from a relative requesting assistance after he made the gruesome discovery.

Rusa officers and paramedics on arrival found Pillay in his bedroom.

He had suffered stab wounds to his arm and chest.

“It was established that Pillay left a suicide note at his offices in Umhlanga prior to leaving the premises this morning. His employees discovered the note and called him. During a telephonic conversation he assured them that he was fine and needed some time alone. They then informed his family and requested that they check on his well-being.

His brother proceeded to his apartment and gained access with a set of spare keys when he made the discovery,” said Rusa.

Pillay’s death is being investigated by the police and updates will be shared as soon as they become available.

This is a developing story.

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Leo Prinsloo guarded Kim Kardashian amongst other high profile people

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Leo Prinsloo kim Kardashian

Pretoria – The hero guard, Leo Prinsloo, once served as a guard for former President Nelson Mandela, Prince Charles and even Kim Kardashian amongst high profile people, IOL has reported.

Deon Coetzee, MD of the Fortis Group said that Prinsloo has been in various security roles for more than 30 years now, with a 12 year career in the South African Police Special Task Force.

He had extensive training, including training with Abu Dhabi’s Anti-Terrorism unit.

In the SAPS Task Force, he was a head instructor of their lone operator training.

Prinsloo and Lloyd Mthombeni became a world topic when a video was shared on social media of them being shot at by robbers.

Coetzee said the two had been escorting a van that was transporting cellphones when they came under attack on the N4 freeway in Pretoria.

He said the modus operandi of criminals is to take out both the escort vehicle and the courier vehicle.

“In the video you see what was happening to the escort vehicle. Two vehicles with three criminals in each tried to take them and Leo took evasive action,” Coetzee said.

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“The guard in the passenger seat, Lloyd Mthombeni, was just four days on the job when the incident happened,” he said.

Dash cam footage of the incident was shared thousands of times and quickly went viral on social media. The public has hugely been amazed by the bravery exhibited by Prinsloo who managed to keep his cool as bullets rained on his van.

News agencies across the globe covered the incident showing Prinsloo’s daring escape from the robbers.

Death threats

Meanwhile, Prinsloo has been placed under police guard following death threats.

Coetzee said they have had to step up security around him following the threats.

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