Two young South Africans put their lives in danger to save a complete stranger from drowning on New Year’s Day, and inspired everyone in the process.
South Africa ended 2018 with the Clifton Beach fiasco – a story that highlighted racism, lack of leadership and political agendas – which saw community members clashing on the beach, while leadership seemed to be completely missing from the narrative.
A private security company removed beach-goers from Fourth beach on the last weekend of the year, sparking allegations of racial profiling. The incident then kicked off protests, night-vigils and the public slaughtering of a sheep.
The country was left reeling as the story gained momentum, making everyone feel more divided at a time when we should actually be celebrating the hope of a New Year… together.
But luckily on the 1st of January 2019 Ricardo Rossouw and hundreds of beach-goers at Blaauwberg Beach, saw the real side of South Africa as two young men put their lives at danger to save a complete stranger.
Ricardo took to Facebook to share the story which has quickly gone viral, reminding us all who we really are.
“On New Years day 2019, I witnessed the true meaning of humanity…the true spirit of Ubuntu.
Tragedy almost struck for a young man when he nearly drowned while swimming out of the designated safe area, while under the influence of alcohol. Two young men, Dewald Van der Westhuizen and Hannes Swart saw the man in trouble and without thinking twice, put their own lives at risk and rushed to the man’s aid. This man was unknown to Dewald and Hannes, yet they jumped in to assist and save the life of another human being… and the man’s family from a possible untimely death.
After the heroes ensured that the man was safe in the care of paramedics, they gathered with their friends and family to thank God for keeping them safe during the rescue.
In the midst of Cape Town’s beaches being the milieu of racial tension, Dewald and Hannes proved that cultural, racial, economic and language differences should not seperate us. We are all children of the Universe and should strive towards peace, harmony and love for one another.
We are often quick to share stories of hate and prejudice…let’s share this story to thank these 2 heroes, and spread a message of love, joy and hope.
Dewald and Hannes, we commend you!”
And the post has quickly gained traction and made many feel proudly South African again!
Michelle Alberts commented: “Well done – Harmonious – this beautiful country of ours – needs more people like this. Peace, happiness and helping when somebody is in need. Proudly South African. Not everything is bad in our country.”
Cassie Marx added: “Wow, how to start 2019, just hope we all can end the year on the same way, by loving, care to each ather. Well don to this 2 young men! Proudly South African!”
Makifu Kefuoe posted: “We are proud of you guys… well done by saving this young man. You did ubuntu forgetting all negative words that are uttered by EFF and BLF. Keep on doing good.”
Steve Horne said: “Well done Dewald and Hannes. You are the TRUE heroes. Let’s ignore all those loud mouthed racists on Clifton beach the other evening. You have shown the reality here!”
Caron van der Walt shared: “This made me cry! If you are a good human you will do the right thing! Let’s get rid of politics and the anger it stirs! Well done dudes.”
Watch the incredible rescue below: