Man (28) dies in Falls

A MPOPHOMENI man fell to his death when he slipped from the top of Howick Falls while walking near the top of the waterfall.

Clinton Meikle, a volunteer who helps guard the area around the waterfall, said he discovered Nkululeko Khumalo’s body on Monday afternoon when Khumalo’s friend raised the alarm.

“The friend told me that he had not been seen on Monday after he went to collect scrap metal at the illegal dumping site near the waterfall. I called the Knight Force guards and told them I’d go down to see if the body was there,” he said.

Meikle found Khumalo lying dead on the ground below the waterfall, but said it was already too late and too dark for the police search-and-rescue team to recover the body.

He said he met with the police search-and-rescue team at 6 am on Tuesday morning and they went down to recover the body. Meikle said Khumalo (28) had sustained severe head injuries.

Pietermaritzburg police spokesperson Captain Gay Ebrahim said it was believed that Khumalo slipped and fell on Monday afternoon while walking on the pathway near the top of the waterfall with a relative.

She said an inquest docket had been opened.

uMngeni Municipality spokesperson Thando Mgaga said according to information he had received from the police, it was alleged that Khumalo “might have been attempting to pick up money and other items thrown over the viewing area [by tourists] at the Howick Falls”.

“The SAPS also discovered that the deceased allegedly utilised an unauthorised route to gain access which allegedly caused him to slip and fall.”

Mgaga said the municipality had more than adequately ensured that the viewing area overlooking the Howick Falls is safe.

He added that the municipality was not aware of an illegal dump site in the Howick Falls precinct.