Three boys have died after being electrocuted at Jika Joe informal settlement in the Pietermaritzburg city centre at around lunch time on Saturday.
The boys (one aged six and the other two, eight-years-old) are believed to have left their homes to go for a swim in the nearby river when the incident happened. It is still not clear whether they were electrocuted while swimming or after they had left the water.
Ward councillor Suraya Reddy said she is shocked by the incident.
“I do not have much details at the moment but I will be going out to the area today to find out what has happened,” she said.
Pietermaritzburg police spokesperson Sergeant Mthokosizi Ngobese confirmed that the three children had died in the incident. He said police are investigating inquest cases.
Meanwhile, KZN MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Sipho Hlomuka has called for action to hold accountable those who are responsible for the illegal electricity connections that killed three children this afternoon at the Jika Joe informal settlement in Pietermaritzburg.
In a statement on Saturday, Hlomuka expressed his shock and sadness at "this tragic incident which has led to the loss of three innocent lives".
The MEC has also sent condolences to the families of the three children.
"For our province to lose three children in this manner is heart-breaking and calls for a stand against the dangerous illegal electricity connections that continue to spread in our communities. Those who make and benefit from illegal electricity connections must be held accountable,” said Hlomuka.
Hlomuka called on the Msunduzi municipality to investigate the circumstances surrounding this incident and hold to account those who are responsible for the illegal connections. He has also called upon the residents of Jika Joe to come forward with any information that might help in apprehending those responsible for the spread of illegal connections.