The bodies of four people, who drowned on Portuguese Island in Mozambique, will be repatriated on Monday. The families’ spokesperson Bongani Diako says funeral arrangements will also be announced on Monday, following the repatriation process.

A group of eight friends from Groblersdal left for Mozambique on January 10, for a birthday party of one of their own.

On the 14th, five of the eight went swimming.

They were apparently overpowered by the strong waves in the sea. The bodies of Lesego Matsepe, Mmatholo Mogafe, David Kaise and Gregory Mpfune are all accounted for.

Two of the deceased are from the Groblersdal area, while another is from Secunda in Mpumalanga province.

The fourth is a male friend from the Free State. Premier Stanley Mathabatha has sent the mayor of Elias Motsoaledi local municipality, Julia Mathebe, to be with the families in Mozambique.

The Premier’s spokesperson Kenny Mathivha says psychologists and social workers have visited the two families in the Groblersdal area to offer counselling.

“The premier of Limpopo Chupu Mathabatha has assembled a team that will be assisting the families and survivors of the drowning accident in the [Portuguese] Island of Mozambique. The team visited families which consist of psychologists and social workers and interacted with families and counselled them.”

“We can confirm that the processes to repatriate the bodies to South Africa have started and we anticipate that the process will be concluded on Monday and it will be on Monday again that we will announce the funeral arrangements for all the families,” says the families’ spokesperson Diako.

Nico Matsepe, the father of Lesego, is already back in the country.

“Our kids left South Africa from Groblersdal town in Limpopo to Mozambique with a view to celebrate one of their friend’s birthday. They were eight kids in all. They boarded a boat from Maputo to Portuguese Island and while they were on the beach on Monday afternoon swimming, they were swept away by the wave into the sea, one local diver managed to rescue one girl.”

In 2018 another South African drowned in Mozambique while on honeymoon. His body was never found.

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Minister Sisulu media statement on the four South Africans who drowned in Mozambique, Mr Andre Hanekom, and protests in Zimbabwe.  

The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Lindiwe Sisulu has received a briefing this morning on the developments in Zimbabwe, South Africans who drowned in Mozambique and  Mr Hanekom who is detained in Mozambique.

On the four South Africans who drowned in Mozambique’s Portuguese Islands, the Minister has on behalf of the South African Government extended deepest condolences to the four families who have lost their loved ones. This follows the recovery of the four bodies.

The Minister also conveyed South Africa’s appreciation to the government of Mozambique for their efforts to save the lives and leading the recovery operation. Minister Sisulu further noted the consular support given to the families by the High Commission in Mozambique led by Ambassador Mandisi Mpahlwa and the Limpopo Provincial Government.

The Minister has directed the High Commissioner to Mozambique, Ambassador Mpahlwa to ensure that all necessary processes and documents are concluded as soon as possible for the repatriation of the bodies and for the families to return home as early as possible.

Minister Sisulu also received a report from Ambassador Mpahlwa on Mr Andre Hanekom who is detained in Mozambique. Minister had directed Ambassador Mpahlwa to visit Mr Hanekom after receiving concerns from the family and friends about his health. The High Commissioner confirmed to the Minister that Mr Hanekom is well in custody and is facing a number of charges. He will appear in court soon. The High Commissioner is monitoring the case, keeping the family informed and offering consular support. The Minister also directed the High Commissioner to always keep the family informed of all the developments.

On the Zimbabwe Protests and efforts to address economic challenges, the Minister has noted that protests in Zimbabwe have calmed down and life in the streets of Zimbabwe is returning to normal. The Minister also received a briefing from the South African Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Ambassador Mphakama Mbethe on the economic situation in the country. Minister Sisulu indicated that the South African government was working with the Zimbabwean Government in finding a short and long term solution to the economic situation. The Minister added that if the situation is not attended to the current economic challenges can derail the political and economic progress the country has made since the election of the new President.