Sergeant Busisiwe Mjwara (42) was a member of the Pietermaritzburg Search and Rescue Squad.

  • A KwaZulu-Natal police diver has been honored after he drowned during a rescue operation amid the April floods.
  • Sergeant Busisiwe Mjwara and her police dog Leah drowned in the Msunduzi River while searching for their family.
  • The officer was described as selfless and selfless.

A police diver who drowned during rescue operations following devastating floods in KwaZulu-Natal earlier this year has received a 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. At the time, she was looking for a family of three, including a six-month-old baby.

READ | “Courage, firmness and determination” – high praise for the policeman who died while searching for flood victims

During the rescue operation, Mdzwara ran into difficulties and drowned along with her police dog Liya. She was airlifted to the hospital and was pronounced dead on arrival.

The flood killed about 400 people and displaced more than 40,000.

Police spokesperson Colonel Atlando Mathe said:

Mjwara was part of more than 120 rescuers made up of police divers, members of the K9 unit, SAPS Airwing personnel and fire department teams who were deployed to participate in ISSA’s flood relief operation in the Greater Ethekwini area in April 2022. SAPS, she was one of four female members who were deployed to assist in the rescue and search of missing persons.

Mdjwari’s unit commander, Warrant Officer Frederick Brand, described her as a “committed, selfless and passionate” person.

Brand said:

She was a people person and was loved by all whose paths crossed with her. Her work ethic was amazing, she had good morals and good ethics. She is one of those people who cannot be replaced, always willing to go the extra mile.

Mdjwara grew up in a small village called Kaluza in Pietermaritzburg. She has been a police officer for 14 years after starting her career at the Hilton Police Station. She later transferred to the Mooi River Police Station. She also worked as a communications operator in the 10111 call center.

“For the late Sergeant Mjwara, the flag of the South African Police Service flies not because the wind moves it, but because of the last breath of members like you who died defending it. Thank you for your bravery, loyalty and the sacrifices you made to serve and protect people [South Africa]”, – added Mathe.

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