A farm worker rescued a South African police man after his bakkie was swept off a bridge by flood waters and then downstream at Uitenhage, Eastern Cape, this morning, 27 July.
Thulani Njoli, 29, saved the shaken policeman, Warrant Officer Ashton Mew, from Kwanobuhle SAP, from drowning around 9.30 am. Mew had tried to cross the Kruis River bridge after heavy weekend rains in the Nelson Mandela region. A strong current swept the vehicle off the bridge and he lost control.
According to Sgt Majola Nkohli from the SAP Uitenhage cluster, the bakkie then started to sink. Njoli, who had witnessed the incident, went into the river to rescue the policeman and took him out the bakkie and the water. The bakkie had sunk further and only the roof was sticking out of the water when Njoli rescued him.
Although shaken, Mew was unharmed. Njoli then bravely re-entered the water to collect Mew’s belongings including a firearm.
It took nearly three hours for a Doosan excavator from a local farmer, Case van der Touw, to pull the police bakkie out of the river.
Acting Station Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Irene Bezuidenhout praised the heroic efforts of Thulani Njoli, “We are grateful to see such goodwill and unselfish behaviour. Our sincerest gratitude is extended to this hero.”
Mew is undergoing counselling from the Enployee Health and Wellness