UPDATE: Port Shepstone ‘snakebite’ man is identified

The man was fund dead in his bed last week.


THE man who died last week, apparently as a result of being bitten by a snake, has been identified as Mbulelo Siyanda Mphalwa (29).

Police spokesman, Lieutenant-Colonel Zandra Wiid said that the post mortem had been done but the histology report was still awaited from the forensic science laboratory.

An examination by paramedics revealed that a puncture wound on the man resembled that of a snakebite.


SNAKE catcher, Sarel van der Merwe of Pure Venom was asked by the police to search for the snake which is thought to have bitten a man on the hand in his house in Berea Road, Port Shepstone on Tuesday this week.

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Despite conducting a thorough two hour search of the room and neighbouring rooms, Sarel did not find a snake.

The room before.

The room after the search.

“There was no smell of a mamba, and the living conditions were not conducive for snakes. The area is an industrial area and there is no vegetation around the house,” said Sarel. He added that he has never caught a snake in that area.

Police spokesman, Lieutenant-Colonel Zandra Wiid said that although paramedics claim they noticed marks resembling a snake bite on the man’s hand, a post-mortem would be conducted to determine the cause of death.

Sarel van der Merwe with the injured black mamba.

On a sad note, Sarel attended to a scene where a black mamba was killed with a pick in Izingolweni.

Sarel drove for miles and after searching for the snake in a pile of wood he found it severely injured.

The snake had to be euthanized.

The injured black mamba at Pure Venom.

“Please think before you kill or harm any reptile,” said an emotional, Sarel.

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He also recently rescued three green mambas; one inside a house in Izotsha, another lying under a corrugated sheeting in Gamalakhe, and one from a house Southport. “They were all about two metres long,” he said.

sarel van der Merwe with the green mamba he safely removed from Gamalakhe.

He also caught retrieved a beautiful rock python from bird aviary on a farm in Port Edward.  It was released again on the same farm.

Rock python rescued from a bird aviary in Port Edward.

If you need a reptile removed please contact Sarel at 082 6831604.


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Shona Aylward

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