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Brothers Danie and Freddy van den Heever were both away from their family home when a mudslide washed it away, taking their family with it. People are uniting to help them recover some of what was lost.

 

Durban, South Africa (21 April 2022) – Danie and Freddy van den Heever, brothers from Northdene, have faced unimaginable losses since the KZN flooding started. Both men were away from home when a mudslide washed away their family home and the entire family within it.

Their story is one of the many heartbreaking situations coming out of the province. Over 440 people have been confirmed dead, and a further 60 are still listed as missing. The natural disaster has left thousands destitute. The devastation will take years to recover from.

On the 12th of April 2022, at around 2 am, Danie and Freddy’s lives changed forever.

A mudslide destroyed several homes and infrastructure in its path around Bealings Road in Northdene near Durban. That’s where the brothers used to live with their mom, Marinda (52), sister Mariché (10) and gran, Hester (in her 70s).

Danie, who is 22-years-old was staying over at his girlfriend’s parent’s home, and Freddy, 21-years-old, was on night shift at work. Freddy drove home after work and found that the road leading to their home had been blocked by debris build-up. He got out of his car and walked toward his home.

When Freddy arrived, he found that the entire house was gone. Freddy quickly called Danie and told him the house was gone. When Danie arrived, the brothers joined rescuers who had started looking for their family. The community all joined in to help them.

During the search for their mom, sister and gran, the men found parts of their home, from mom’s dining room table to the tiles that once lined the bathroom walls. Sadly, they also found the bodies of their family members.

Never did they imagine that faced with that much loss, they would run into issues because they didn’t have any identity documents for themselves or their loved ones.

“We don’t have ID’s or any paperwork for my family to have them cremated”, says Danie. “We don’t want to arrange their memorial before we have their ashes – and we need their ID’s to sort that. It’s a mess. We really have nothing left.”

To ease some of the burden, family friend Dora Miles, reached out to the Good Morning Angels for help. The angels reached out to their network, and the Naked Difference Fund by Naked Insurance offered to donate R50 000 to Danie and Freddy.

While this money could never bring back their loved ones, it will help them to lay their loved ones to rest and assist with essentials like clothing and food in their time of need.

In times of trouble, it really is the helpers that restore faith and help pick people up again.


Sources: Good Morning Angels – Supplied
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About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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