Shocking scenes  of men crossing a bridge holding a coffin with a dead body inside, surfaced on social media platforms on Saturday morning. The incident happens  at Kwanozitena  Administrative Area  in ward 6 under Umzimvubu Local Municipality in the province of the Eastern Cape. Two bodies have been brought to the village by a funeral service company’s car. The cannot cross the bridge.The bodies belonged to different families at Mjikelweni and Maqokolweni  in the same village.

When the bodies arrived the man were already waiting to take them across the bridge so that a funeral service can be conducted. Two men are seen in the video holding a coffin with one men on the other side and one on the other. You can see and hear the sound of the overflowing Umzimvubu river below their feet.  They are walking slowly to make sure that they do not miss a step, something that will make the men fall and drown in the river.  Residents here drive plus minus 40 kilometres to town.

According to Nozi Mantshongo a D.A. Cllr of Umzimvubu Municipality,  villagers here are forced to cross Umzimvubu river using this bridge especially when there is an overflow. She said a bridge was build by Umzimvubu Local Municipality in the year 2000. “The challenge with the bridge build by municipality is too short and it is easy for the bridge to be covered by the overflows and therefore community will be forced to use the one called Tebe Tebe”, she said.

Residents from this area who spoke to the informer said Tebe tebe was build in 2001 with donations facilitated by Roman Catholic Church after 30 people have died crossing this river. Tebe tebe was build using wooden, metal and fencing material. It is 500 metres form the other side to the other. Some of the residents who confirmed losing their relatives because  of the river a and  Mbulelo Ndiyeni who lost his brother, Nontlangabezo Nqokweni lost her mother, Nontlahla Nqadi lost her sister  and Nolubabalo Qina who lost her mother.

“I think the solution on this matter is for the municipality to build a proper bridge that could escape the over flow of water so as to keep the people’s lives safer”, concluded Nolubabalo Qina whose mother was drowned in this river in 2018. Municipal Spokesperson Nokhanya Zembe said the bridge is in the IDP to be build soon.



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