A man drowned while being baptized at the Groot Letaba River in Nwamarhanga, Limpopo, South Africa.
On Saturday, March 18, 2023, the 27-year-old man reportedly slipped into the water and drowned shortly after baptism.
Colonel Malesela Ledwaba, a Limpopo police spokesperson, confirmed the incident in a statement on Sunday and identified the victim as Ronald Rikhotso.
“On March 18, 2023, the police in Giyani opened an 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,” reads the report.
“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. “A 27-year-old man named Ronald Rikhotso is said to have slipped and drowned,” he said.
According to Colonel Ledwaba, the police were notified of the incident, and the body was recovered from the river by divers from the SAPS Provincial Search and Rescue Team.
Lieutenant-General Thembi Hadebe, the Provincial Commissioner of Police in Limpopo, warns members of the community to be cautious and wary when using dams and rivers for any purpose, including religious activities,” he said.