Toddler (3) dies tragically in electrocution

Twané Booysen (3).PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Twané Booysen (3).PHOTO: SUPPLIED

LAST week the Booysen family of Port Elizabeth celebrated two birthdays. This week they will be burying the youngest member of the family after she was electrocuted on Friday.

Three-year old Twané Booysen was reportedly playing at a neighbouring house in Virgo Road, Gelvandale, when she touched an electricity pole and was shocked to death.

Levona Booysen (36), Twané’s mom, says she was on her way to call Twané to return home for her bath, when she heard screams outside the house.

“All I can recall is some-one shouting ‘Nay-Nay (Twané’s nickname) has been shocked’,” said Levona.

“I did not want to wait for an ambulance and thought it would be quicker to ask a friend to rush us to hospital.”

Fosia Abrahams (53), Twané’s grandmother, is a carer with first aid experience, and immediately gave Twané mouth-to-mouth.

“Twané regained consciousness and vomited, but afterwards her head just hung down.”

Riedewaan (38), Twané’s dad, said it looked like she was not breathing any longer and he held his ear against her chest.

“I heard a faint heartbeat and a few seconds later another faint one.”

Levona in the meantime managed to get someone to take them to the hospital,

“In the car I could see my child was not looking well. Her lips were blue. But I kept on believing that she was still alive.”

Close to the Gelvandale police station, the ambulance met up with them and Twané was taken into the ambulance.

“They immediately put machines on her, but there was nothing. I thought she was still breathing, but she was gone.”

The police have opened an inquest docket, said Warrant Officer Alwin Labans, police spokesperson.

Riedewaan says the whole incident was still so unreal. Last week the family celebrated Twané’s third birthday and four days later, Riedewaan’s birthday. Levona says she had five sons but Twané was her only daughter.

“I am very disappointed that the municipality did not look after this pole. This morning my child was still alive and was still dancing. And now she is dead because of the pole.”

Tisha Slater, owner of the yard where the electricity pole is situated, said she reported on two occasions to the municipality that the pole was loose.

“When the wind blows, the pole moves from side to side. Every time the wind blows, the pole becomes looser. I was scared the pole would fall on my house and that’s why I reported it. But now it is even worse – someone has died.”

She said a municipal worker visited her home last year. According to her, he just had a look at the pole and said he would have to talk to his manager. “Until today, no-one has come to look at the pole again.”

According to Slater, her child said she was also shocked when she tried to pick Twané up.

Levona said she holds the municipality fully responsible for Twané’s death and the family were going to sue the municipality.

“It will be the first thing I do after my child’s funeral.”

Municipal spokespersons could not be reached via cellphone or e-mail for comment on the incident.

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