Body recovered of police officer swept away in vehicle during flooding in Soweto
The National Commissioner of the South African Police Service(SAPS), General Fannie Masemola and his management team have send their condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of a member whose body was recovered on Sunday, 11 December 2022 in Soweto. At the time of his death, the off-duty member’s private vehicle was swept away in floods caused by heavy downpours of rain on Friday. Since then, Search and Rescue (SAR) teams have been hard at work in recovering the member’s body.
36-year-old Warrant Officer Ntsako Pataka was attached to the Division: Protection and Security Services (PSS) where he served as an in-transit VIP Protector. The member had 15 years’ service having joined the organisation in 2007.
Johannesburg Emergency Management Services spokesperson Xolile Khumalo said the Johannesburg police officer had been reported missing in Soweto. “It is alleged the police officer was driving with his two colleagues on Friday when they were swept away by the floods. One colleague has opened a case of a missing person,” said Khumalo. She said the other two officers managed to escape the heavy floods. One of the officers has been admitted to hospital.
Jamie Potgieter, NSRI Gauteng duty coxswain, said, “At 09h00, Sunday, 11 December, NSRI Gauteng duty crew joined the SA Police Services, a Police Dive Unit, Police K9 Search and Rescue, SARZA members, Johannesburg Emergency Medical Services, Gauteng Government Healt6h EMS, Johannesburg Fire and Rescue Services, a Police helicopter and BCI Security in their ongoing search for a Police officer who had gone missing on Friday in what was believed to have been a flood related incident in Soweto along the Klip River. Two teams were established and during an extensive search at around 10h30 sadly the body of the male Police officer was located and recovered by Police.”
Added, “During the search the Police officers firearm was located and recovered approximately 30 metres from where his body had been found. The body of the Police officer was airlifted to a Police Station by the Police helicopter where the body was taken into the care of Government Health Forensic Pathology Services. Condolences are conveyed to the family of the deceased man.”
Since Friday NSRI Gauteng and NSRI Hartbeespoort Dam volunteers have assisted the joint operations combined rescue teams continuing to assist those affected by the flooding caused by heavy rains along the West Rand, Soweto and to as far as Muldersdrift and beyond. Multiple rescue operations and public assistance has been rendered during a massive operation headed by Police and the combined emergency services.
The National Commissioner of the SAPS, General Fannie Masemola has thanked the Search and Rescue (SAR) and emergency personnel who worked tirelessly to recover the body of the member. “This is a tragic ending for us as the SAPS and the family of the member, we were hoping for a positive outcome. We thank all teams involved in this operation for their efforts in finding the body of the deceased member”, said General Masemola.
To Warrant Officer Ntsako Patako, the SAPS management salutes you for choosing to serve your country with diligence and honour until your untimely death. May your soul rest in perfect peace.
In house Psychologist’s and Chaplain’s from the SAPS’ Employee Health and Wellness (EHW) Component were dispatched to provide psychosocial services to the family, friends and colleagues of the deceased member.
Source: Arrive Alive, The Sowetan, NSRI
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