21 year old Important Nyathi was cooling off in the river when he suddenly started yelling.
His cousin Bright Mkhonto (16) and a friend on the river bank thought he was joking.
“Help! The river snake has got me! It is dragging me away to its lair! Quick!” he shouted.
When they realised he was sinking, they jumped in and tried to save him. But whenever they got hold of him it seemed something dragged him back.
And when they realised that they were also being pulled down, they let go as Important disappeared in the deep water!
Bright and his friend from Casteel near Bushbuckridge in Mpumalanga ran home, screaming that Important had been taken by the river snake.
Uncle Nature Silinda (32) said the boys were sent to a family in the village to deliver money on Wednesday when they decided to go for a quick swim.
“Bright said he and the friend tried to rescue Important, but the snake dragged all three with such force they had to let go to save their own lives.”
The family ran to the river, but were too afraid to dive in.
Residents soon came to the river banks and a vigil was held as divers kept searching.
Captain Mpho Nonyane said the rescue had to be called off when it got too dark. “The man’s body was found the next day at the bottom of the river.”
She added Important had no bleeding or visible injuries.
“A post mortem will establish the cause of death.”
The family said they had no doubt the river snake killed him.
“Every year, it takes a villager to the bottom of the river.
“This year, Important was the sacrifice,” said Nature. “He was a strong swimmer, so could not have drowned. Only the snake could have taken him.”
Source: South Africa Latest News