Penwell Dlamini and Pertunia Ratsatsi

Penwell Dlamini and Pertunia Ratsatsi

The three-day search for a woman who drowned in the Kaal River in Ivory Park, Ekurhuleni, has so far yielded no results.

But her family remains optimistic that her body will be found soon.

Shadi Kgaladi, 34, and her niece Nomvuyo Monageng, 3, of Ivory Park, were swept away on New Year's Eve by a strong current in the storm water drain and thrown into the river.

Nomvuyo's body was found on Friday, a kilometre from where the two had been swept away.

Johannesburg Emergency Services (EMS) spokesman Percy Morokane said the search began on Thursday after midnight and ended at six in the morning without their finding the victims.

A breakthrough was made only the next day when Nomvuyo's body was found stuck in the sand on the river bank.

Only her right arm and head were visible, with the rest of the body being buried in the sand.

"Nomvuyo's body had cuts and bruises all over," Morokane said.

About 60 emergency personnel, including an EMS search and rescue unit and firefighters, have camped on the river banks in search of Kgaladi.

Police divers, the dog unit and family members have set up tents and parked vehicles on the river banks.

"We have covered six kilometres of the river but the search will continue today," Morokane said.

Kgaladi's aunt, Elizabeth Monageng, said that on New Year's Eve her niece and Nomvuyo went to fetch firecrackers from a car parked across the street at about 11.30pm.

"It was raining hard," Monageng said.

"I told them to wait until the current subsided but they thought they could cross."

Kgaladi's husband, David Letlere, said they had just returned to Ivory Park from visiting relatives in the Free State.

"My wife was to celebrate her 34th birthday on Wednesday and we were looking forward to celebrating our 13th wedding anniversary in July," Letlere said.

The search for Kgaladi continues today.

Kgaladi and Nomvuyo are not the first victims of the storm water drain.

On December 8 Kennedy Nkuna, 29, and his 9-year-old son Kennedict were swept into the drain in the same street.

Nkuna's body was found a few hours later, while his son's body was recovered two days later, about a kilometre from where they had drowned.