WATCH | Homes damaged as flood light pole collapses at University of Johannesburg

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  • Two homes and an outside building were destroyed on Monday after a flood light pole at the University of Johannesburg's AW Muller Stadium fell on them.
  • Both homeowners were inside their homes when the pole collapsed.
  • UJ spokesperson Herman Esterhuizen said the university arranged temporary accommodation for the affected families.

A flood light pole at the University of Johannesburg's (UJ) AW Muller Stadium collapsed on Monday, causing severe damage to two homes and a backroom structure.

UJ spokesperson Herman Esterhuizen said the pole at the Bunting Road campus fell due to strong winds.

"UJ confirms that a stadium flood light at its Bunting Road campus sports stadium fell onto houses after strong winds [on Monday]. The university has arranged temporary accommodation for families whose properties have been affected. No one was injured," he said. 

Esterhuizen said an investigation would continue on Tuesday.

Emergency services from the City of Johannesburg were called to the scene and gathered information but said they were not at liberty to comment on the incident.

Both homeowners were in their homes when the incident occurred at around 11:00.

Shereen Mark said:

I was inside the house having my breakfast as usual. I heard a loud noise on the roof, and before I could check where it came from, I saw a crack in the ceiling, and paint fell on my plate. I was so weak and numb that I couldn't move. I heard my neighbour crying and shouting, asking if I was fine.

Speaking to News 24 outside her home, Mark said she was stressing because so much had been destroyed.

She shares the home with her family, and nine tenants who occupy outside backrooms.

All the occupants have since been moved to temporary accommodation in Melville, about 3.5km from the home, after UJ officials assessed the damage.

Mark said her wall-mounted television, water pipes, roof, and power connections had all been damaged.

She added that residents had always been concerned about the pole.

She said:

That pole was moving whenever it was windy, but we didn't report it. We were concerned, especially the woman [whose backroom was affected], because the pole is directly behind her yard. I don't know what to do. [UJ] must fix the house and everything that is damaged.

Nesi Manana, her neighbour, told News24 she too was shocked when she heard the loud noise.

The pole fell outside the building they use as a tuckshop during the day and an extra bedroom at night.

"This is where I prepare and sell fast food," she said while pointing to the damaged structure.

"Thankfully, no one was there when the pole hit. I'm also grateful it didn't fall at night because my children could have died," she said.

Like Mark, she said the pole was very unsteady on windy days.

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