Parents heartbroken after 5-day-old baby killed by lightning

2015-02-09 07:55


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories


WATCH: Man shocked by lightning in KZN

2015-01-05 15:41

While packing up his fishing gear, a man was shocked by a massive lightning strike in Albert Falls, Kwazulu-Natal. Watch. WATCH

Siso Naile and Amanda Khoza, The Witness

Pietermaritzburg - Hlengiwe Sangweni’s family is reeling in shock after her 5-day-old baby died in her arms after being struck by lightning on Friday.

The newborn - who hadn’t even been photographed yet - was among six deaths by lightning reported following Friday’s stormy weather.

Sitting on a grass mat near a burning candle, Sangweni, 31, from Kwazayeka in Sweetwaters, said she gave birth to a healthy baby boy last Monday and named him Ayabongwa.

But the joy of welcoming her first son was short-lived.


Recounting what happened, Sangweni said she was sitting on the bed at around 17:30 on Friday, rocking her baby to sleep, when the storm began.

“I was holding him and then all of a sudden, lightning came into the house... and hit me and I felt my body shaking.

“When I looked at my baby, I saw blood coming out of his nose and I knew that he was gone,” said a visibly distraught Sangweni.

“I was discharged from hospital on Thursday. The baby had been home for only one night. I still can’t believe what happened, I can’t even eat, my breasts are sore and full of milk, but the baby is gone,” she said.

Ayabonga’s father, Thamsanqa Mnguni, 30, said he will never forget the moment he lost his son, of whom he does not have a picture to remember him by.

“We are heartbroken because we were really looking forward to having a baby boy,” he said.

Other lightning deaths

At Taylor’s Halt near Elandskop, Nokukhanya Nkomo, 52, described how her father, Funindawo Dlamini, was killed by a ball of lightning.

She said lightning came in through the door and struck her mother first.

“We were all sitting in the hut which we normally sit in when it storms when the lightning came in. We saw a red electric ball that struck my mother and then went to my father,” she said.

Her brother, Simphiwe, said they called the police who arrived and took a statement along with his father’s body.

“We were also struck [by the lightning]. We were in a lot of pain and asked a family member to take us to the local clinic where we were given painkillers and instructed to drink milk and advised to detox.”

Msunduzi Mayor Chris Ndlela visited the two families.

He said: “The situation was shocking and saddening for both families, especially the one of a 5-day-old who was just being welcomed to his new home.”

Ndlela advised people to install lightning conductors so that they can divert lightning from striking their properties.

No details of the other four deaths were available.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  weather

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Financial advisors – Do you need one and should you get one?

The good, the bad, and everything else you need to know when considering hiring a financial advisor.


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.