Child electrocuted in Verulam

2016-11-10 06:00
Reaction Unit South Africa officers cover the body of the boy, who was electrocuted in Verulam. Photo: supplied

Reaction Unit South Africa officers cover the body of the boy, who was electrocuted in Verulam. Photo: supplied

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AN eight-year-old boy died after he was electrocuted by loose electricity cables outside his home in Coniston informal settlements near Verulam on Tuesday.

S’mangaliso Chili, a Grade 3 pupil at Umhloti Primary School, was walking­ near his home when he accidentally touched live electricity wires attached to the neighbour’s garden fence.

His mother, Sindi Sibiya, said she is still reeling from shock. “The neighbour connected electricity cables from a pole on the road leading to his house. S’mangaliso was coming back home when he was electrocuted.”

Head of Reaction Unit South Africa (Rusa) Prem Balram said: “We received a call from members of the public reporting a child, who had been electrocuted in Coniston area.

“When we arrived residents, who gathered near the side of the road, told us that the child was going home when the incident happened.

“He was declared dead at the scene. We then called Metro Police to assist,” he said.

“On behalf of the councillors in this area, we are terribly sorry for this tragic­ happening,” said the ward councillor, Geoff Pullan.

“Councillor Johnson Chetty and I have been appealing to the municipality to install pre-paid electricity in the informal settlements.

“We have already rolled out ablution facilities to many of these areas.

“There has to be a quantum change in council attitude. Whether we like it or not, citizens want electricity. Some departments say don’t put in pre-paid electricity as we are making it regular for illegal occupation of land, when people have been there for decades,” he said.

Attempts to get a comment from Verulam SAPS was unsuccessful at the time of going to press.

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