Nick Mellet, 45, found dead, P’Maritzburg

Pietermaritzburg, KZN. The body of missing Benoni man Nick Mellet, 45, who went missing during the 38th Aquelle Midmar-Mile race on Feb 12 2011, was found dead in in the Midmar Dam by police divers.  SAPF Dog Unit spokesman Jack Haskins said Mr Mellet was found dead four days after disappearing during the popular annual running/swimming event.

Mellet Nick 45 Benoni found dead Midmar Lake PmaritzburgFeb172011

About 18,000 amateur-athletes participate in this swimming/running event in KwaZulu-Natal each year.  This year it was marred by the death of 78-year-old runner Sibinda Zwezwe of the Ubunya Athletic Club, who collapsed and died while running through the Hillcrest and Winston Park suburbs. And Mr Mellet was reported missing when his coded tag failed to register at the finish line.

Friends and relatives became very concerned that the police did not mount an immediate underwater search for him after SAPF spokeswoman Joey Jeevan announced shortly after his disappearance that ‘any underwater search by police, navy and army divers had to wait while the race was on.” The race was not called off despite these two fatal incidents.

And then due to bad weather the search was postponed until the following Monday. His friends, fiancee and family, in Pietermaritzburg since his disappearance have now returned to Benoni (Feb 17)  Haskins: “We are not sure of the way he died, we are awaiting the post-mortem results.’ http://bit.ly/hbVox2

About Adriana Stuijt
Retired South African-Dutch journalist formerly Sunday Times Johannesburg

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