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Eight people, including 4 boys, die after being shocked by live wire

Families of four children who electrocuted in Klipfontain mission. Eight people were electrocuted including four children. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)

Families of four children who electrocuted in Klipfontain mission. Eight people were electrocuted including four children. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Sep 27, 2023


Cape Town - Four children who were spending the long weekend at their Muslim school were electrocuted during the storm.

According to the City, four other people also died by electrocution in the Covid-19 informal settlement.

Brothers Lihle, 11, and Lusindo, 7, Dyamdeki; Storm Scholtz, 12, and 9-year-old Awam Simanga died when they touched a live wire while wading through water in Klipfontein Mission in Philippi East on Monday.

A teacher at the Anhoeda Islamic Centre, Fatima Abdullah, said a resident told her the children’s bodies were seen floating.

“The person said they were in a dam, they said they saw only three of the six kids who left the madressa.

“I found four bodies, I was informed that the other two turned around.

“They showed me and I went into the water even though I was told not to go in because people were scared I would be shocked too.

“I insisted and said in the name of Allah I will go in and I went to get the children. When I got to their bodies they were all faced down, I flipped them around and confirmed it was them,” the emotional woman said.

Abdullah told the Cape Argus she saw a wire but thought it was a wash line.

“I was later informed that it was a live wire and that the boys touched it.

“I wanted to get them out of the water and we found the foam board and I placed them on it and pushed them to shore. At that time the families had arrived and the paramedics were also there, I thought they were going to perform CPR but the boys were already gone.”

Abdullah said they used the madressa to get boys off drugs and the deceased would go to her school every weekend and it was their tradition to swim on Sundays.

Yesterday the parents of the deceased were at the office of the local Mboniswa Chitha.

Khanyiswa Dyamdeki, who lost her sons, said she couldn’t believe they were gone.

“It feels so unreal, I have not been well since the incident. We visited the councillor because we are all unemployed and we didn’t think this would happen.

“We need help to bury the children.”

Chitha said people had been killed in the same manner in Klipfontein Mission.

“There is nothing that I can do in order to electrify the area because the land is privately owned.

“The City would have to buy the land first and then we could intervene. As the community, we are devastated by what happened to the young boys and we will try and assist in any way that we can.”

Luthando Tyhalibongo, the City’s spokesperson said they sympathised with the families affected by these tragedies.

“In general, the City, escorted by the SAPS and law enforcement, continues to conduct illegal electricity connection removal operations on a regular basis. The reality is that the connections are redone soon after it has been removed.

“The City continues to act in its supply areas (it cannot account for Eskom areas) in an effort to reduce the safety risks associated with illegal connections.

“In many instances, illegal connections are driven by organised syndicates. There is also an interplay between unlawful occupation and illegal connection syndicates. The SAPS is investigating the incidents.”

The City confirmed the Disaster Operations Centre has had confirmation of eight fatalities caused by electrocution - four people died in the Covid-19 informal settlement in Driftsands, as well as four children in the Klipfontein area.

Police spokesperson Joseph Swartbooi said Philippi East police registered an inquest for further investigation.

Anyone with information is requested to call Crime Stop on 08600 10111.