Deadly snake kills baby in Tongaat

2017-01-19 06:01
 Photo: andile sithole Khanyisile Mkawukawu and Vuyiseka Blayi with a photo of nine-month-old Hlelokuhle Blayi.

Photo: andile sithole Khanyisile Mkawukawu and Vuyiseka Blayi with a photo of nine-month-old Hlelokuhle Blayi.

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A NINE-MONTH-OLD baby died after being bitten by a poisonous snake in Umbhayi informal settlement on Sunday.

The baby, Hlelokuhle Blayi, was playing on the floor of his home when, according to the parents, a two-metre “dark coloured” snake entered the house.

The child’s mother, Vuyiseka Blayi (27), believes the snake was a black mamba as she had seen one before and identified it as being the same.

She told the Weekly she heard hissing­ sounds outside her home and went to investigate.

“When I went outside to see what was happening, I saw a black mamba [rearing itself] against the wall of my house.

“I ran back into the house to alert my husband. My two children [aged five years and nine months] were playing on the floor. My husband then went to call the neighbours to assist.

“When they went to look for the snake outside they did not see it and assumed it had disappeared into the grass.

“Ten minutes later I saw the snake enter the house. It went straight to where Hlelokuhle was sitting.

“The snake surrounded him and I screamed for help and tried to rescue my son. I then fell down and broke my leg.

“I did not see the snake biting him, I only heard the screams of my son while I was on the floor.”

Vuyiseka said that her neighbours tried to kill the snake, but it escaped.

“At that time it was too late. My son was already sweating and white froth was coming out of his month.”

The child was rushed to Tongaat Clinic where he later died.

Vuyiseka said her son was not sick before the incident and believes the snake bite led to his death.

“He was a healthy child and did not have any symptoms of sickness on the day of the incident.”

The Tongaat Clinic was not able to confirm the cause of the child’s death and referred the Weekly to the Department of Health.

Hlelokuhle’s father Khanyisile Mkawukawu (34), appealed to businessmen in Tongaat and surroundings to donate food parcels for the funeral­.

“We are both unemployed and struggling financially.

“We have asked theThekwini­ Municipality­ to assist us [to lay him to rest] with dignity.

“We are appealing to the public and businessmen for financial assistance.”

The family comes from the Eastern Cape and moved to Durban 10 years ago to look for employment in Tongaat, however both are unemployed.

Ward councillor Dolly Munien said eThekwini Municipality is dealing with the matter and is in the process of burying the child.

“The parents came to my office. I referred them to head office.”

A snake catcher in Verulam, Tongaat and Phoenix areas Lee Naidoo­ urged community members to contact a snake catcher if they see one.

He said if anyone is bitten by a black mamba they must be rushed to hospital immediately to receive anti-venom serum.

Naidoo said the prominent symptom­ of a black mamba bite is respiratory problems.

If you would like to assist the family, contact the Coastal Weekly offices on 032 945 2903.

Snake catcher for Verulam, Tongaat and Phoenix, Naidoo can be contacted on 083 234 5618.

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