Questions after death plunge at work

2007-11-22 00:00

Karrim's brother-in-law, Yacoob Ballim, said they were contacted on the day of Karrim's death, November 8, but have heard nothing since.

Shocked residents who witnessed the plunge believe he died because the old pole was rotten at the base and could not support his weight. They want to know why the municipality has been silent about the incident.

Jeremy Grantham and his family, who live close to where the accident happened, are still traumatised. Grantham said that at the time of the accident, he was cleaning the awning at the front of his house.

He heard what sounded like a bang and when he looked he saw the pole down and Karrim sprawled on the ground. A nurse who lives across the road tried to stabilise him until the ambulance arrived. Karrim was rushed to St Anne's Hospital where he died two hours later.

Grantham and his family say the terrible sound of that fall will stay with them for a long time.

According to his colleagues, Karrim worked for the municipality for more than 20 years before leaving to take up another job. He returned at the beginning of this year to the street lighting section and had recently applied to work in the faults department. They saw him as a hardworking person who quietly got on with the work he was assigned.

Msunduzi municipal manager Rob Haswell said yesterday that they sincerely regret the tragedy, and extend their condolences to the bereaved family.

Haswell said the matter is being investigated to determine the cause of the accident and a report will then be submitted to the Labour Department.

He was surprised that the family have not been kept updated on these developments and said he will take this up with the relevant department.

Police spokeswoman Inspector Joey Jeevan said an inquest is being held into Karrim's death. A report will be forwarded to the public prosecutor, who will decide whether there are grounds for prosecution.

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