Copesville woman electrocuted after stepping on live wire

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Mzungezwa Projects’ Siyabonga Zuli (left) and Ivan Chetty hold up the electrical cables removed from the Copesville highway after a woman was electrocuted there.
Mzungezwa Projects’ Siyabonga Zuli (left) and Ivan Chetty hold up the electrical cables removed from the Copesville highway after a woman was electrocuted there.
Ian Carbutt, The Witness

Pietermaritzburg - A woman was electrocuted in Copesville on Thursday while walking near a bank near the suburb’s police station.

Jabulile Ndlovu (53) had been walking home from the shops, carrying the bags of groceries she had just bought for her family when she stepped on a live wire.

Ndlovu’s nephew Bheki Ndlovu said his aunt had slipped and then grabbed onto a live wire to keep from falling.

With the live wires still around her, Ndlovu’s body lay in the grass, groceries and her handbag lying next to her as her visibly devastated family waited for her body to be removed.

After a three-and-a-half-hour wait, the live wires were deactivated and removed and Ndlovu’s body was loaded into the mortuary van.

Bheki said his aunt was the breadwinner in her family and worked as a domestic worker.

“She was a good person, a church-goer and everyone in the family was close to her.

“This is very hard for us,” he said.

ANC ward 29 candidate Spha Madlala, who was at the scene, said illegal connections were a “big problem” in the area.

“People who are connecting the electricity know this is illegal. How many lives have been lost because of this? How many lives will continue to be lost until this stops?” he asked.

Mountain Rise police spokesperson Captain Gay Ebrahim said Ndlovu was from the Ezinkatheni area in Copesville.

“The Mountain Rise police are investigating and have opened an inquest docket,” she said.

Msunduzi municipal spokesperson Nqobile Madonda said electricians were dispatched to isolate the power supply.

“As council we continue to appeal to residents both of domestic properties and rental flats not to connect illegally as this is not only damaging to council’s infrastructure but it also leads to loss of lives, which could have been avoided,” she said.

• chelsea.pieterse@witness.co.za

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