Electric cable kills farm worker in Mooi River

2012-12-28 00:00

A FARM worker in Mooi River was killed yesterday morning after being electrocuted by a low- lying electric cable.

Trevor Mabaso (35) was checking the tyres of a tractor he was driving when he came in contact with the low-lying cable.

He was found lying under the tractor by his employer, Chris Vickers, who said the moment left him horrified.

“I was the one that found him,” Vickers told The Witness.

“I went to check the spraying of the maize, and the tractor was just standing there.

“ I phoned him on his cell, but I couldn’t get hold of him,” added the farmer.

He decided to go to the tractor, and when he got there, he saw Mabaso lying under it.

“I thought to myself ‘has he been run over?’” said Vickers.

“I saw a tyre was flat and the engine was still running.

“I went up to turn it off, and that was when I saw that it [tractor] was hooked to the cable.”

He said that it was burn marks on Mabaso’s jacket that made him realise that he had been electrocuted.

Vickers described Mabaso as a “good worker”.

“He was an excellent worker. His death means I’ll have to train somebody new for his job.

“It’s not that easy to find somebody off the street as they would have to be trained for about two years,” Vickers said of Mbaso, who had been working for him as a tractor driver for about “eight or nine” years.

The low-lying cable, Vickers said, could have been damaged during heavy snowfall in the province in August.

“Eskom had their people there in November, but they never fixed it. When we see them driving on our farm and ask them if the cable will be fixed, they say ‘yes, we’ll sort it out. Don’t worry’.

“But they never fixed it,” Vickers told The Witness.

However, after Mabaso’s death yesterday, the cable was repaired and Vickers said it was unfortunate someone had to die to get Eskom to fix it.

Police spokesperson Captain Thulani Zwane said that an inquest docket had been opened and was being investigated by Mooi River police.

Eskom could not comment on the incident yesterday.

However, they acknowledged receipt of The Witness’s questions sent to them via e-mail.

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