The prophet who led a group of people to the deadly Jukskei River in December for a ritual has left for Zimbabwe.
Kind Kupe, a Zimbabwean national popularly known as “Mvundla” [his clan name] in Alexandra, was said to be missing in action after he was last seen on the day of the tragic accident that saw 14 of his followers drowning after being swept away by a heavy current during a baptism ritual in Bramley Park, Johannesburg.
When Sowetan visited his rented home yesterday, the landlord, who asked not to be named, said she had not seen him since the day of the tragedy, but knew that he had returned to his home in Zimbabwe.
“I don’t know the exact date of his departure, but his wife told me that she had found out that he was already in Zimbabwe. I have not seen him since the day of the incident. The wife also left around December 15 for Zimbabwe,”
“She couldn’t take it anymore, she was being harassed by reporters and people who were asking her questions she could not answer.”
Pastor who vanished after Jukskei deaths found but not charged
The pastor who disappeared after 14 people drowned in the Jukskei River during a baptism has been found. But it is not yet clear if he will face any …
NEWS2 weeks ago
The landlord added that before leaving for Zimbabwe, the prophet’s wife said that she was going to the police to submit a statement.
“That man is so kind, like his name. What happened was truly a tragedy. He is not to blame. It was a natural disaster, but I don’t think that is how many people see it.”
It is believed 33 people were at the river including a three-month-old baby. Johannesburg emergency services have called off their search for baby Sinenhlanhla, saying the case was now in the hands of the police.
“After having conducted the search and done everything that we can, SAPS then takes over the investigation. EMS still lends a hand where possible and necessary.”
Police spokesperson Mavela Masondo said they had been able to locate the spiritual leader to obtain a statement.
“The pastor is one of the people that the police obtained statements from, as part of the investigation. Once the investigation is complete, the docket will be taken to court for a decision,” he said.
Three men die during a baptism ceremony in Snake Park, Soweto
The bodies of three men aged between 24 and 30 were retrieved after they drowned in a stream in Snake Park, Soweto, during a baptism ceremony on …
NEWS1 week ago
“Unfortunately, we cannot give specific dates on when the statements were obtained. We can confirm that the survivors were more than two.”
Zikhona Rengqe, the mother of a 3-month old baby, who is one of the survivors, said she was devastated after losing her mother and two children in the tragedy.
Rengqe said she spent a lonely festive season trying to make sense of the ordeal.
“This festive season was the worst I have experienced in my life. I buried my mother and the three-year-old just before Christmas while I was still uncertain about the whereabouts of my baby. I am left all alone in this house. I am not only mourning and confused, but I am struggling to make ends meet because my mother was the breadwinner. I still can’t believe this happened. Sometimes I think they will walk through the door and greet me like they used to.” said Renqge.
The 24-year-old said she wanted to find the remains of her child and has pleaded with rescuers to resume their search.