Hippo attack resulting to death
Committee chairperson visits the family in distraught
The Chair of the Portfolio Committee on Conservation and Environmental Affairs Hon SW Mshengu moved swiftly (after the news of the death of a young man in Umtubatuba Dukuduku area) to visit the bereaved family and the CEO of Isimangaliso Wetlands Park. The death of a member of Nxumalo family was because of the attack by a Hippo that was said to be wondering about in the community. “Hippos do come out to graze at night and it was unfortunate that the young man had to die in this way”, said the CEO, Mr Sibusiso Bukhosini. In his visit to the Wetlands Park the Chairperson of the Committee sought to understand why and how this incident had happened and to meet with the family to express his condolences on behalf of the Committee.
The Nxumalo family was in tears as they were explaining the pain of losing a member of their family. “we are struggling here at home, and the death of our brother brings no hope of a better life for us, as he was a breadwinner. We now are even afraid to go out at night in this community as Hippos roam around here”. In his response the Hon Mshengu promised the family to consult with the Committee and return in three weeks’ time to “see what assistance could be provided to the family”. He further promised to engage with the entire community and Isimangaliso Wetlands Park to seek a lasting solution that will prevent such incidents in the future. Chief amongst preventative measures is a possibility of fencing the area to keep Hippopotami away from the community, a suggestion which the CEO of Isimangaliso said, was (in the past) rejected by the community, as the community felt that the Wetlands Park’ intention was to keep the community away from the Park thereby preventing their freedom of movement in and out of the Park.
Hon SW Mshengu listening (in blue pant and T-shirt) to Nxumalo family as they express their pain at the loss of a member of the family.
Community development initiatives such as empowerment of SMME in the field of nature conservation and road construction opportunities were explored by the Chairperson and the CEO in the meeting that preceded a meeting with the family. The Chairperson commended Mr Bukhosini for his passion for community upliftment and his plans (which he briefly shared) for the future of Isimangaliso. The meeting concluded with the invitation of the CEO to a Committee meeting planned for late November in Hluhluwe.