The high-mast light in Soshanguve where the lighting ring fell and killed five children. Picture: Bongani Shilubane / ANA
The high-mast light in Soshanguve where the lighting ring fell and killed five children. Picture: Bongani Shilubane / ANA

Tshwane agrees to R700 000 claim over Soshanguve light death

By Zelda Venter Time of article published Nov 4, 2019

Share this article:

Pretoria - The City of Tshwane has agreed to pay R700 000 in damages to the family of Fanie Baloyi, who was 11 when he and four of his friends died when flood lights fell on them while playing in Soshanguve.

However, the families of the other four children are still waiting.

Fanie’s mother Georgina Baloyi had instituted a claim against the City following his death two years ago. The City agreed last week to settle the matter, her lawyer Jean-Paull Rudd said.

But according to Rudd, there was no news yet whether the City would also settle with the parents of the other children. All have different lawyers.

The claim instituted by the family of 9-year-old Maikano Mmenu was before the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, last month.

His father Andries Pule Mmenu still tried to receive the green light from the court to proceed with his claim.

He said in a statement to the court that he had not known until recently that he was able to institute a claim and that the City could be held liable for his loss.

Maikano, Boitshoko Bobape, 11, Lethabo Matibako, 9, and Dimpho Bopape, 5, died tragically on November 4, 2017 when the steel ring of the high masts light fell on them.

Mmenu’s application was removed from the roll last month as it was not ready to proceed.

In the case of Fanie, Rudd said the improper implementation of infrastructure by municipalities placed immense strain on communities, resulting in unnecessary deaths and injuries, which could have been prevented.

In court papers the family of Fanie claimed that the community had been complaining for years about the dangerous and faulty mast in Soshanguve.

The City admitted that it was in control and responsible for the construction, maintenance and safety of the light.

It also admitted that the high mast light's mechanism and structure were damaged.

This included that the access door at the base of the light was broken and that the sling cable and hoist mechanism were damaged.

The chain locking nuts and bolts which secure the sling cable were also removed. This caused the light ring to dislodge and fall on the children.

Fanie’s mother said in court papers that the City was liable for the damages, as it had a duty to ensure that the mast did not pose a danger to the community, especially the children.

The City blamed the state of the mast on vandalism.

Pretoria News

Share this article: