Cape Town -
A man working on a crane to hang flags advertising next week’s State of the Nation address died when the cage he was standing in collapsed, tossing him head-first into the street, on Sunday.
Police confirmed that the 31-year-old man, believed to be an employee of private company City Flag, died when the top of the crane gave way beneath him.
“A crane collapsed. Police are investigating,” said police spokesman Thembinkosi Kinana.
He said the man’s name would be withheld until his relatives had been told. It was unclear who had contracted City Flags to hang the flags advertising President Jacob Zuma’s speech.
A witness, Patrick Mosariri, who said he was on his way to work at a nearby restaurant when he heard something falling.
“I was shocked and couldn’t believe it. I had just passed him and shortly after that he was on the ground, dead. It happened so fast he didn’t even scream,” Mosariri said.
“He fell on his face. There was blood all over him and I don’t think he could have survived. It was my first time seeing something like that. I am still shocked because it’s rare things like this happen.”
Auguston Nthehe, who also heard the cage fall, said: “I was here when they arrived and started putting up flags.
“I heard something breaking, but I did not know what it is. I never thought it was a person falling.”
The man was covered while the police inspected the scene and waited for pathologists to collect the body.
A City Flag representative at the scene refused to be identified and would not comment.