Africa-Press – South-Africa. A police diver who drowned during rescue operations following the devastating floods in KwaZulu-Natal earlier this year has received posthumous recognition as part of Women’s Day celebrations.
Sergeant Busisiwe Mjwara, 42, who was attached to the Pietermaritzburg Search and Rescue Unit, died during a search and rescue operation in the Msunduzi River. She was searching for a family of three, including a six-month-old baby, at the time.
‘Bravery, grit and determination’ – high praise for police officer who died searching for flood victims
During the rescue operation, Mjwara experienced difficulty and drowned, along with her police dog Leah. She was airlifted to hospital and was declared dead on arrival.
The floods left around 400 people dead and more than 40 000 displaced.
Police spokesperson, Colonel Athlenda Mathe said:
Mjwara’s unit commander, Warrant Officer Frederick Brand, described her as a “dedicated, selfless and passionate” person.
Mjwara grew up in a small village called Caluza in Pietermaritzburg. She had been a police officer for 14 years after starting her career at Hilton police station. She later moved to Mooi River police station. She had also worked as a call operator at the 10111 call centre.
“To the late Sergeant Mjwara, the South African Police Service flag does not fly because the wind moves it, but because of the last breath of members like you who died protecting it. Thank you for your bravery, loyalty and the sacrifices you made to serve and protect the people of [South Africa],” Mathe added.