lightning kills man on manning road bridge, cuts power to city suburbs

2012-04-18 00:00

A MAN who had just started to pay lobola was killed by lightning during the violent storm in Pietermaritzburg yesterday evening.

Jabulani Solomon Mchunu (31), who was from Umzinto but worked for a local oil company, was on his way home from work.

He was struck as he crossed the Manning Road N3 bridge.

“I got here after it had happened,” said a distraught Mlondi Duma, who said he had known the deceased well.

“He has one child. Two weeks back he had gone back home to begin sorting out lobola payments,” said 23-year-old Duma.

One lane on the bridge was closed while police attended to the scene, watched by a small crowd, including Mchunu’s friends.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant Joey Jeevan said: “A post-mortem will be conducted to determine the exact cause of death. However, we do believe he was struck by lightning.”

The storm left several parts of the city without power, Msunduzi Municipality spokesperson Brian Zuma told The Witness.

“The areas affected were Boughton, Hilton, Northdale, Copesville, and Blackridge.”

He said electricians were working to restore power to the affected areas.

In Chasedene, the storm caused havoc at the River’s End apartment block. The security gate was flooded and garbage floated in the heavy flow of water.

An American PhD student at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, who lives in the block, was left with nowhere to sleep after many of his belongings were damaged.

Akwanga Ebenezer Derick said leaks from the ceiling of his flat had caused the electricity to trip.

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