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The community of Thohoyandou hurled insults at the police yesterday because they chickened out of diving into a dam to retrieve a body that has been missing for five days.
"The police are useless and hopeless," Given Dzivhani said.
"What type of security and protection do we have when people you thought would protect you show that they are weaklings?"
Walter Mungungoni, 46, drowned in the Nandoni Dam on Sunday, but the cops have been too scared to dive into the crocodileinfested dam to retrieve the body.
"Had they gone in on Monday, maybe our son could have been found alive," Dzivhani said.
"So we hold them responsible for our son's death."
The reluctance of the Limpopo and Mpumalanga police divers to put their lives at risk sparked a row that nearly resulted in physical confrontation.
The police said they were scared of being eaten alive by the crocodiles, which had already devoured a number of residents.
Police assessed the situation from a helicopter and confirmed that there were crocodiles in the dam.
But incensed bystanders shouted that they were cowards and that there were no crocodiles.
Some of them threatened to get into the dam and search for the body themselves but police said they would arrest them if they did.
Dzivhani said the family had lost faith in the police and hope of finding Mungungoni alive.
"We already suspect that he is dead. All we want is his body so that we can conduct his funeral."
Thohoyandou police spokesman Captain Mashudu Malelo said the situation was "very volatile" and that the cops were looking for the body only on the dam's banks.
"We cannot allow our police divers to get into the dam because it is dangerous since there are crocodiles," he said.
He said Mungungoni was with a friend when their fishing boat capsized.