Lightning: Three children killed near Nkandla

2013-01-11 00:00

THREE children were killed by lightning at kwaChezu near Nkandla on Wednesday.

Sisters Phiwokuhle (13), Hlengiwe Dlamini (6) and their neighbour Nomfundo Zwane (6) were struck by lightning while returning from a local tuck shop on Wednesday.

Phiwokuhle and Hlengiwe’s distressed father Mvuyelwa Dlamini said the incident happened during daylight after they were sent to the shop at around 3 pm. He said it had been sunny before a dark cloud passed overhead and the lightning struck.

“Our family still can’t believe that we have lost both our daughters in one day,” said Dlamini.

The Witness was unable to contact the family of Nomfundo Zwane.

The death of the three brings to over 10 the number of people who have reportedly been killed by lightning in the province in the past few weeks, according to the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs.

The department deployed disaster management teams to support the affected families.

Today, MEC Nomusa Dube will visit the families to offer government support.

In a statement, Dube said: “What we have seen of these [lightning] strikes in recent times is extremely worrying. These incidents are getting more severe and the frequency suggests that extreme and abnormal weather conditions as a result of climate change have a lot to do with these tragedies.”

She said her department would be offering counselling to the survivors who saw the children die in front of them.

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