Media Statement re the drowning of Mveliso Majenge at Silvermine Dam
On Friday the 17th March at about 2:15pm, Mr Mveliso Majenge a 21 year old Agricultural student from Living Hope NGO, drowned at Silvermine Nature Reserve Dam. Mveliso was from the Mount Frere area of the Eastern Cape. He was a trainee farmer in Living Hope’s “Harvest Training Initiative” programme. The students were celebrating the completion of Phase 1 of their training by having a hike and lunch at the Silvermine Nature Reserve.
After lunch several of the students, who were familiar with swimming got into the dam to swim. Mveliso joined them. Suddenly some of the students became aware of him being in trouble. He had waded into water that was not deep and then suddenly fell into waters which had a steep drop off, which could not be seen. He disappeared in the dark cold water and resurfaced momentarily, putting up his left hand, signaling for help and then disappeared under the water and did not re-surface. Those in the vicinity immediately began to search and others joined them. After 8 – 10 minutes of searching his body was found. CPR was immediately commenced and continued until the arrival of paramedics from Cape Medical Response (CMR) who took over the resuscitation efforts and established a heart beat which was relatively stable. Although the Emergency Services helicopter arrived, it was decided to rather transport him via ambulance to Groote Schuur hospital where he was admitted and to attended to. He sadly passed away at about 8:20pm.
John V Thomas, Chairperson and Media spokesperson for Living Hope who was on the scene about 20 minutes after the incident took place said that the team that was present did all they could in immediately calling for professional help and in finding his body and initiating resuscitation and continuing CPR until paramedics arrived. The family in the Eastern Cape was informed as soon as possible and Living Hope remains in constant contact with them.
We extend our sincere condolences to the family and all those affected by this tragedy, says Thomas. We are all grieving the loss of this wonderful young man.
A full investigation into this tragedy is in process and fellow students and staff members who have been traumatized by the incident attended a 2.5 hour trauma debriefing session with a Counseling Psychologist and have also had support from Living Hope’s chaplain. Further help and support is available to them on an individual basis or in a group setting.
A Memorial service is being arranged for the students and staff of Living Hope and will be held at Living Hope’s campus, Kommetjie Rd, Capri on Thursday 23rd March at 13:00.
Thomas added ‘Living Hope extends it thanks to all those involved in the rescue effort, in particular CMR for their outstanding efforts in resuscitation and to all who came in support and help – National Parks, EMS paramedics, police, fire officials and others as well as to Lovedale College in Alice’.
Funeral arrangements are being made by his family in the Eastern Cape and will be communicated once final arrangements have been made.
John V Thomas
Chairperson and Media Spokesperson: Living Hope Trust