Cholera suspected in 8 Limpopo River deaths

Chester Makana

Chester Makana

Police in Musina are investigating the deaths of two Zimbabwean women who were found in bushes near the Limpopo River.

They are suspected of having died of cholera on Tuesday. The deadly disease has reportedly claimed close to 500 lives in Zimbabwe since the outbreak more than two weeks ago.

It is believed the women had walked to South Africa to seek medical treatment.

Police said the women, in their 30s, were found after the incident was reported to them by a group of people who were with the women when they collapsed.

Captain Sydney Ringane of the Musina police said that after receiving the report, police went to search for the bodies.

"On arrival, we found one person dead," said Ringane.

He said they travelled further and discovered the second body.

Ringane said people in the group had told police the women were dehydrated and suffered from diarrhoea. He said the postmortems would determine the cause of the deaths.

Six other corpses had been found earlier in bushes and in the Limpopo River. Ringane said police were only able to retrieve five bodies. One body was abandoned because it was floating in the crocodile-infested river.

"Since the cholera outbreak, most of the deaths were reported by Zimbabweans. We are working mostly under the guidance of the people who were with the victims," said Ringane.

He urged Zimbabweans not to cross illegally, but to acquire asylum status.

"Women especially are vulnerable to robberies and rapes."