Two people, including an eight-year-old girl have been confirmed dead in Gauteng following this weekend’s floods. At the same time a woman from Kagiso, west of Johannesburg, is still missing and presumed dead.

Heavy rains have wreaked havoc since Friday, leaving hundreds of people without shelter, especially in informal settlements in Alexandra and Soweto.

Officials say Kliptown has the highest number of displaced people.

The mother of eight-year-old Lindiwe Golelmin who drowned during the weekend’s flash floods says her other daughter who witnessed the incident is still extremely traumatized. The child died on Friday while crossing a stream near her home in Mhlangeni Informal settlement in Roodeport, west of Johannesburg.

Her body was found on Saturday following a search by Emergency Medical Services. Her mother Maria Golelmin says her child was trying to cross a makeshift wooden bridge with her elder sister.

“They wanted to cross over to this side. There’s a bridge over the stream that allows for people to cross. As they were crossing over, the bridge collapsed and they fell into the water. Zikhona tried to pull her out but she struggled and then Lindiwe was swept away by the water,” explains Golelmin.

She says her elder daughter is haunted by the images of the water sweeping her little sister away.

“Zikhona is not well. She cannot sleep at night because of what she saw. Lindiwe was a quiet child. She enjoyed playing. She loved her siblings and she was polite and well-mannered,” says Golelmin.

The eight-year-old girl is one of the two people confirmed dead in Gauteng following this weekend’s floods.

However, a woman from Kagiso, west of Johannesburg, is still missing and presumed dead.

Gauteng Disaster Management‘s Elias Sithole says, “One is an 8-year-old school-going girl. She is from the Princess informal settlement. The other gentleman is from Douglasdale. He is between the ages 30 and 35 years. He died on Saturday. Unfortunately, we have got one fatality in the West Rand, but the search and rescue teams are looking for the lady washed away by the floods.”

Meanwhile, in Kliptown, Soweto residents severely affected by the floods sought refuge at the local Walter Sisulu Community Hall. The residents say they fear for their safety should the rain persist, but they have no choice but to stay in these structures which offer them little protection against severe weather conditions.

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