According to reports, a 27-year-old man from South Africa named Ronald Rikhotso drowned during his church baptism in the Groot Letaba River located in Nwamarhanga village, Limpopo.
The incident occurred on March 18, 2023, when the victim apparently slipped into the water and drowned shortly after being baptized. On Sunday, a statement by Colonel Malesela Ledwaba, the spokesperson for the Limpopo police, confirmed the incident.
“The police in Giyani have opened a case of inquest after a baptism took a tragic turn when a 27-year-old male congregant slipped into the water and drowned soon after baptism in Groot Letaba River in Nwamarhanga village on March 18, 2023.”
“According to the information, the church congregants led by their priest had been performing religious rituals and after they concluded the session, one of the congregants went back to the river to collect water. The 27-year-old man, identified as Ronald Rikhotso, reportedly slipped and drowned,” he said.
In a statement, Colonel Ledwaba mentioned that the police were notified of the incident, and the SAPS Provincial Search and Rescue Team’s divers retrieved the victim’s body from the river.
Following the incident, Lieutenant-General Thembi Hadebe, the Provincial Commissioner of police in Limpopo, advised caution to the public regarding the use of dams and rivers for any purpose, including religious activities.