A group of people performing a baptism ritual along the Jukskei River in Johannesburg were swept away by a flash flood on December 3, 2022.
According to Johannesburg Emergency Services and media reports, 14 people died, and a number of individuals are missing, as emergency teams continue with search and recovery operations. Several people have sustained injuries.1
Johannesburg emergency services spokesperson Robert Mulaudzi said officials repeatedly warned residents about the dangers of taking part in religious ceremonies along the river – particularly after weeks of heavy rainfall in the city left many streams full.2
“We have been receiving a lot of rain on the city of Johannesburg in the last three months, and most of the river streams are now full. Our residents, especially congregants who normally practice these kinds of rituals, will be tempted to go to these river streams.
“Our message to them is to exercise caution as and when they conduct these rituals.”
1 South Africa – Flash floods – DG Echo – December 5, 2022
2 Nine dead after flash floods in South Africa wash away worshippers during river ‘baptism’ – Sky News – December 4, 2022
Featured image: Cojems Spokesperson
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