One of Odwa Shweni’s daughters was still waiting for her father to come back home. 

The actor died on Thursday after he slipped and fell off a cliff at the Sterkspruit Waterfall in the Drakensberg while filming a movie scene.   

KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Thulani Zwane said at the time that the incident happened at around 17:15. His body was recovered by the Pietermaritzburg search and rescue team on Friday at around 10:00.

Read: Actor falls to his death during movie shoot in Drakensberg

Shweni was a father of two girls, the oldest of whom is seven years old. 

Deputy chairperson of the South African Guild of Actors Adrian Galley described Shweni as a “bright and educated chap”. He said he was an IT specialist and businessman. 

“I believe he had a lot to offer. He was a very generous, [considerate] man and quite an activist in relation to helping the society. 

“Having two daughters, he wanted to create a better world for them. One of the daughters told his cousin, Andrea (Dondolo), that she was still waiting for him to do her hair.

“We have been around a decent guy who has been snatched from out of our lives.”

He said it was sad to see Shweni’s family go through this loss and witness the void his death had left. 

Dondolo is a well-known South African actress. She was unable to speak to News24.

‘This is not the Wild West’

Galley said the tragedy had raised questions around safety in the industry, specifically the need for actors to work in environments with strict safety precautions. 

“Filming locations – every day you get different environmental hazards to contend with, so safety should be even more strictly enforced.”

He said there were industry guidelines to ensure safety on set. 

“There are very strict protocols within the industry. For instance, you will have a highly trained stunt coordinator whose job it is to assess the risk involved in those particular action sequences,” Galley said.  

However, these established protocols are not always enforced, he said. 

“This is not the Wild West. We have a responsibility to make sure that we run a clean operation.”

On Tuesday, Monks Cowl tourism park said the incident happened just outside its grounds. There was no further comment.

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