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William Mfulwane (1958 - 2004)

The Order of Mendi for Bravery in

William Mfulwane (1958 - 2004) Awarded for:
Sacrificing his life in an attempt to save the life of a boy drowning in a water-filled quarry.

Profile of William Mfulwane

Many exceptional acts of incredible human bravery occur in our daily lives – many of them unreported, or if at all, reported on sparsely.

One such act was performed by William Mfulwane. Mfulwane, a resident of Mmakau, near Ga-Rankuwa to the north of Tshwane, was a security officer and a proud father of six.

While on his way to the butchery, Mfulwane heard cries for help from a visibly agitated group of boys who came running towards him. They were seeking his help to save their drowning friends from a muddy quarry nearby.

Without wasting time, Mfulwane, who was an able and experienced swimmer, dashed off to the quarry and jumped into it in a bid to rescue the two drowning boys. Mfulwane guided one boy to safety and went back for the other.

It had rained heavily before the incident and the banks of the quarry were extremely muddy. As a result, despite his best efforts, neither he nor the other boy, Tsholofelo Mpule, made it out of the muddy quarry alive. They were both buried in sand as they grappled with the loose soil, dislodged from the earlier rains.

Mfulwane’s bravery for putting another life before his own is nothing short of heroic. This act of bravery was not out of character for Mfulwane who was known for being a loving father and a caring husband.

Mfulwane was born on 15 August 1958 at Ga-Rankuwa, Zone 1, in Tswane. He was one of six children – all of whom are deceased. His community knew him as a selfless person who was always willing to help others.

Mfulwane is survived by his common-law wife and six children. His youngest child was only two when Mfulwane died.

His selfless deed that became an ultimate act of giving is an inspiring feat that encourages humanity to keep striving for higher ideals, such as saving human life in the face of potential perils to oneself.

Despite being aware of the potential danger of plunging into a murky pit, William Mfulwane did not give much thought to what could become of him. He made a brave effort to save the young boys’ lives … and in the process, lost his own.