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Girl, 5, shocked to death

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Fuming residents have threatened to sue a municipality after a faulty street light , which was reported, electrocuted a girl. File picture: Boxer Ngwenya

Northern Cape - The death of a five-year-old child, who was electrocuted by a street light pole in Barkly West, has resulted in an outrage from residents in the town and some threatening to take the Dikgatlong Municipality to court for negligence.

Fuming residents told the DFA over the weekend that Gideon Lebogang’s death was “nothing but negligence on the side of the municipality”.

“We reported the faulty street light pole to the municipality last week because it was shocking people that came into contact with it, but until today (Saturday) nothing has been done to fix it . . . it first had to take an innocent child’s life before the municipality could attend to it,” community members claimed.

Lebogang was apparently electrocuted when he came into contact with the pole while he was playing with his friends in Iris Street in De Beershoogte on Friday afternoon.

“The children were all just having fun when all of a sudden we heard others crying and when we went to look, we saw Lebogang lying on the ground next to the pole,” a resident said.

Lebogang’s mother Elizabeth (Lebogang), who lives a few blocks away from where the incident happened, said that she was informed by other residents that her child had been injured.

“When I arrived at the scene I saw people gathered around the pole and when I pushed through I found my child lying motionless on the ground,” Elizabeth said.

Lebogang’s father, Job Skinner, said that the municipality had to apologise to his family for his son’s death and that it had to reimburse him for the loss.

“They must not only pay for the funeral they must do more because we’ve lost a baby in this incident,” Skinner added.

The street light pole in question has a 20-metre-long steel structure attached to it. Inside the steel structure is an insulated electricity cable running from the light at the top of the pole into the ground.

When contacted on Friday for comment, spokesman for the Dikgatlong Municipality, George Damoense, said that the municipality would comment on Saturday or Sunday.

When the DFA tried to contact him on Monday, his cellphone was switched off.

Northern Cape police spokesman, Lieutenant Olebogeng Tawana, said the police have opened an inquest docket. - INL


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