Tornado: It was raining stones

2011-10-04 08:37

Tornado approaching Duduza

2011-10-03 15:26

Watch this video shot by a News24 User of the tornado before it hits Duduza. WATCH

Johannesburg - Residents of Duduza outside Nigel on the East Rand have spoken about the devastation in their area after a tornado struck on Sunday evening.

“The Lord was merciful for taking only one child. You can build houses, but not lives,” said Solpha Mkhtshkwa, whose son Xolani, 8, died when a wall fell on top of him.

 “I don’t know where I will sleep tonight. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how I’m supposed to carry on, we had just finished building the house and moved in and now my child is dead,” she said as she sat on a chair in front of her ruined house.

Paramedics took her youngest son, Fanafuthi, 7, to be examined at a clinic on Monday afternoon after he was also hit on the head by a stone or piece of wood.


Ekurhuleni executive mayor Mondli Gungubele said the tornado hit at 17:29 and by 17:32 it was all over.

The tornado devastated an area about 200 metres wide and 2km long.

Trees were stripped bare in the veld with only the trunk and a few branches remaining.

"It rained stones, I sat in the rain all night, too scared they would steal my stuff,” said Charles Molefe, 52, on Monday. He had been in his living room watching TV when the tornado hit the area at about 17:30.

“The TV was blinking continuously and my wife went to look at what was happening outside. The next moment she was screaming and shouting about things flying through the air. It literally rained stones. Some of them fell on the roof. It was terrible.

“Sheets of corrugated iron flew through the air. The next moment there was the most terrible noise when the huge street light from across the road fell over and hit the house. I thought it was the end. After a few minutes it was dead quiet and then you just heard how everyone was screaming,” said Molefe.

He spent the rest of the night under the remaining corrugated iron sheets of his house, standing guard, while his wife Francina slept at the neighbours.

"At around 03:00 or 04:00 I found a group trying to steal my cement. Fortunately the police were here and they arrested the six and took them away,” he said.

166 injured

By Monday afternoon it was estimated that 558 houses had been completely ruined or very seriously damaged and that 2 790 people had been directly affected. A total of 166 people were treated and taken to surrounding hospitals.

Police officials drove through the area on Monday afternoon, telling people over loudspeakers to go to the community centre to report homes that had been damaged or if they needed help.

Jeanie Pretorius said her domestic worker Lily Madonsela called her at about 04:00 on Monday morning to tell her her whole house had been wrecked.

“We decided to come fetch her, you can’t just leave her here. Her whole house is gone. She is friends with the woman whose child died and she also wants to help.

“When she called, I couldn’t really understand what she was talking about. She kept saying a ‘snake’ had come from the dam and wrecked the whole place. And that the snake went from the one dam to the other,” she said on Monday afternoon while she waited for Lily to gather her things to come and stay with them until she again had a place to stay in Duduza.

- Were you affected? Send us your eyewitness accounts and photos
Read more on:    johannesburg  |  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.
NEXT ON NEWS24X 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

Partnered with
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.


Quiz: Test your Rio Olympics memory!

Think you know what went on at the Rio Olympics? Prove it by tackling Sport24's ridiculously impossible yet highly addictive post-Games quiz!


Rio Olympics

GALLERY: SA's Rio Olympic medallists
As it happened: Rio Olympics - Day 17
Selecting 6 numbers turned Britain into Olympic superpower
Caster cranks up the heat in Rio semi

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.