Teen lucky to survive lightning bolt

2013-11-01 00:00

XOLANI Sokhela (14) knows he is lucky to be alive.

He spoke to The Witness yesterday about his miraculous survival after being struck by a bolt of lightning in Willowfountain.

The grade seven pupil from Ndlelayabasha Primary School described what happened last Friday when his friends Phelelani Maphumulo and Mabutho Ngubane died during a fierce thunderstorm while playing a fun game of soccer.

Xolani said he was looking at his friends, who were both running to get the ball, when the lightning struck.

“We all fell down. I was dazed and confused. It did not register that I almost died until I was at Imbali Clinic,” he said.

He said it was very difficult to accept that his friends are gone.

“My last image of them was when they were running towards the soccer ball and I did not think that would be the last time I would see them alive,” he said.

Xolani said while he was sad that his friends were gone, he was grateful to God for sparing his life.

“I hope my friends are in a peaceful place. It will take time for me to forget what happened but I am beginning to accept it,” he said.

“I am still very scared of the lightning and it was difficult to sleep yesterday [Wednesday] because the memory of the lightning striking our school grounds was still fresh.”

His granny, Ester Sokhela, said she was grateful to God for protecting her grandchild.

Health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo visited the area yesterday and encouraged Xolani to be strong.

The government delegation also visited the families of the boys who died, to offer help.

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