Teenager gets shock from exposed illegally connected wire

2019-12-11 15:17
Amahle Mkhize (14) suffered a severe electric shock when she touched an exposed wire from an illegal connection in Northdale.PHOTO: kerushun pillay

Amahle Mkhize (14) suffered a severe electric shock when she touched an exposed wire from an illegal connection in Northdale.PHOTO: kerushun pillay

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A teenager was given a severe electric shock by an exposed illegally connected wire outside an informal settlement on Firwood Road in Northdale.

Amahle Mkhize (14) arrived from Impendle on Monday to visit family in Northdale for her school holidays, but was shocked by the wire that night, injuring her left hand and neck.

This incident comes just weeks after The Witness reported that residents were concerned over several illegally connected wires which connect from a power box to the informal settlement.

The power box is left open and there are multiple illegal connections running from it into housing structures. There are so many wires that they loop around the top part of a telephone pole. They said this was another example poor maintenance of infrastructure leading to tragedy.

Last week The Witness reported that a woman had died while being rushed to hospital after the car she was in hit a massive pothole and two tyres burst on Old Howick Road on December 4. Amahle’s cousin, Thandeka Zuma, said Amahle suffered an electrical shock when she bent over to pick up a cloth from the floor and touched an exposed electricity cable that she she didn’t see. “It was muddy on Monday night so she wanted to wipe herself,” Zuma said. Neighbours then alerted paramedics and Amahle was rushed to hospital.

She sustained burns to the fingers on her left hand and a burn to her neck and was kept at Northdale Hospital overnight for observation.

“She wasn’t normal, her mind was gone. She thought she was going to die. It was scary seeing my cousin like that,” Zuma said, adding that the illegal connections had been there for years.

The area’s councillor, Lucky Naicker, said he believes Msunduzi is opening itself up to potential lawsuits through incidents like this one.

Ward councillor Lucky Naicker stands next to exposed cables caused by illegal connections on Firwood Road, Northdale, last month. A teen was badly hurt on Monday.

He had visited Amahle in hospital on Tuesday morning.

“Recently [The Witness] brought to the attention of the municipality the issue of the exposed cables, sadly nothing was done about it.

“Must there be a tragedy before action is taken? One innocent life was recently lost because of a pothole that was left unattended. How many more innocent lives must be lost before the municipality is stirred to action?

“There is a serious lack of accountability from the municipality.”

Msunduzi did not respond to a query.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  msunduzi municipality

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