A man from Mpumalanga is recovering in the hospital after a crocodile attacked him in the Mlumati River.
The attack happened on Christmas Eve, while 67-year-old Alex Masinga was swimming in the crocodile-infested river during a heatwave.
“While I was taking a bath in the Mlumati River, a crocodile bit my back as I tried to fight it off.”
It emerged that this wasn’t Masinga’s first encounter with a crocodile. In 2006, he hacked to death a crocodile in the same river.
The number of people drowning in streams and rivers in Mpumalanga is on the rise and the scorching heat is blamed for the drowning incidents.
Mpumalanga Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) are urging people to fight the temptation of swimming in rivers.
Swimming lessons may seem far-fetched but Vusi Shabangu from Mpumalanga COGTA says that it is one biggest deterrent to more people drowning.
“Compared to last year the province lost over 40 people through drowning, while last year it was thirty-plus. Keep supervision over children around water, learn to swim and ensure safety. ”
Most rivers in the Mpumalanga Lowveld are crocodile infested, and they are not a threat to people like Alex Masinga – but to livestock too.