Tragic Downpour Claims Life: Kroonstad’s Flood Devastation Unfolds

  • Tragic Loss: A 50-year-old man, Motaung Mokemane, lost his life in Maokeng, Kroonstad, due to heavy downpours and flooding, highlighting the devastating impact of the extreme weather conditions on individuals.
  • Community Impact: The torrential rains across Kroonstad and the Free State have affected numerous households, with an estimated 80 households impacted by the flooding. The community is reeling from the emotional and physical toll of the disaster, with authorities assessing the damage and preparing contingency plans for affected residents.
  • Misinformation Alert: Concerns have been raised about the spread of misleading information on social media platforms, prompting authorities to caution against inaccurate depictions of the situation. This highlights the importance of verifying information during times of crisis to ensure accurate reporting and effective response efforts.
Rain on a vehicle's windscreen

A tragic incident unfolded in Maokeng, Kroonstad, Free State, claiming the life of a 50-year-old man due to relentless downpours. Kroonstad, along with many other regions in the Free State, has been inundated by heavy rains in recent days, with an estimated accumulation of 150 millimeters of rainfall across the province.

The Weather Services have issued warnings indicating that more rainfall is imminent. Tragically, Motaung Mokemane, aged 50, lost his life when his vehicle was swept away by the surging waters at a low bridge. His body was discovered the following morning by members of the community.

The grief reverberates deeply within Mokemane’s family. Motshewa Mokemane, the deceased’s sister, expressed profound sadness, particularly highlighting the emotional toll on their mother. “We are very sad as a family. It has affected us tremendously, especially my mother here. As you can see, she is not feeling well, but the entire family is deeply affected,” she shared.

Authorities have urged residents to remain indoors, emphasizing the risks posed by the ongoing adverse weather conditions. Meanwhile, the Moqhaka Local Municipality is actively assessing the extent of the damage incurred by the heavy rains.

Mayor Motloheloa Mokatsane provided insights into the situation, stating, “We are currently evaluating the damage, and we estimate that around 80 households have been affected. While we have not yet initiated evacuations as the situation hasn’t warranted it, we have identified local facilities where affected individuals can be accommodated if necessary.”

Concerns have been raised regarding the dissemination of misinformation on social media platforms. Ketso Makume, the MEC of Cooperative Governance, cautioned against the spread of misleading content. “There have been instances of individuals circulating inaccurate and misleading information on social media networks. Some videos purportedly depicting scenes from Kroonstad are, in fact, not from our locality. I have personally inspected all the bridges, and it’s evident that certain videos circulating on social media are not authentic representations of the situation in Kroonstad,” he remarked.

Despite hopes for respite, weather forecasts indicate that the rainfall is expected to persist over the coming days, amplifying concerns about potential further damage and disruptions to communities in affected areas.

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