We didn't promise to fix plane crash shack - Ekurhuleni

2016-02-05 08:43
Cebisile Zulu (Naledi Shange, News24)

Cebisile Zulu (Naledi Shange, News24)

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Benoni residents describe close encounter with crashed plane

2016-02-03 17:02

A light aircraft crashed into shacks in Watville, Benoni, on the East Rand, on Wednesday. See scenes from the wreck and hear eyewitness accounts.WATCH

Johannesburg - The City of Ekurhuleni had no obligation to fix a family's shack which was split open after being hit by an aircraft which crashed in Wattville, Benoni, earlier this week, the office of Mayor Mondli Gungubele said.  

Spokesperson Zweli Dlamini said they had made no promises to fix Cebisile Zulu's shack after it was reportedly struck by the wing of the plane as it went down and burst into flames just metres from her house on Wednesday morning.  

"We have not committed to anything," Dlamini told News24 on Thursday afternoon.

"We need to investigate the extent of the damage and see what we can do as a city but we have made no commitments. You must remember that this thing was not our doing," Dlamini said.

On Wednesday, just hours after the aircraft had gone down, News24 visited Zulu at her shack.

Promised help

A piece of the shattered plane was still on her roof and one side of the shack was broken. The area surrounding the shack had been taped off by investigators.

News24 spoke to Zulu as her toddler child crawled around on the sand under the tape.

She said although she was sad her shack had been damaged in the crash, she was comforted by the fact that people of the City had promised to come back and help her fix it before nightfall.

She stood at the fence of the shack during the afternoon, waiting for the promised help.

But by Wednesday night, no one had come back.

She was forced to seek shelter from a neighbour for her and her two children.

When News24 contacted her on Thursday afternoon, she said she had spent the day at home, waiting for someone to come to their aid.

"I haven't made any phone calls because the people who promised they would come back never left their names or their numbers," she said.

"And the person who offered us accommodation [on Wednesday] said it was only for one night."

She burst into tears when News24 informed her that Dlamini said fixing the shack was not their responsibility.

"I have no idea what this means for me and my children. I don't know where I am going to sleep tonight," she said.

(Naledi Shange, News24)

Cause of crash unclear

The aircraft crashed with three passengers on board - a pilot and an Austrian couple - all in their 60s.

It was headed for Mokgopong in Limpopo when it crashed a few minutes after take-off.

It landed on a field in the middle of Wattville township which was used as a netball court and soccer pitch for local children.

Locals rushed to the scene, tried to douse the flames and pulled the passengers out of the wreckage. All three, however, died on the scene.

The cause of the crash was not immediately clear.

(Naledi Shange, News24)

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  air crashes  |  aviation

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