Illegal connection death leaves family in mourning

Innocent Mathaba, chairperson of the Siyathutuka Informal Settlement shows the illegal connection that killed his brother.
Innocent Mathaba, chairperson of the Siyathutuka Informal Settlement shows the illegal connection that killed his brother.

A FAMILY at the Siyathutuka Informal Settlement have spoken out about the loss of one of their family members who was killed by an illegal connection. Michael Msineleni Mthethwa (32) was electrocuted when he slipped while walking up a flight of stairs at the settlement. He grabbed onto what he thought was a branch, of a nearby tree, but it turned out to be an illegal connection.

His brother, and chairperson of the settlement, Innocent Mathaba, spoke to the Northglen News about the fateful afternoon his brother died.

“He was walking towards his home, it was close to the evening and the light wasn’t great. The ground was a little damp because of the rain. As he was walking up the staircase, one of his sandals broke and he lost balance, he tried grabbing what he thought was a branch but turned out to be an illegal connection. The connections run around tree. The force of the shock blew him backwards off the path and into more uncovered illegal connections.

Read also: ‘I’m forced to use illegal connections’ says Blackburn Village resident

“One of the wires got stuck in his foot which forced more electricity through his body. One of the young children who was playing nearby noticed my brother shaking on the floor. He didn’t know he was being electrocuted and thought he was having a fit, he called our father who came rushing to the scene. We couldn’t walk on the ground next to the body as he was conducting electricity through the ground. A few of us grabbed pieces of wood and used that to pull the wire stuck in his foot but it was too late when we eventually got the wires out,” he said.

Mathaba said he hoped the City would electrify the settlement to stop any future tragedies.

“We all use illegal connections to survive in the settlement but on the other hand we are all aware of the dangers they pose. I hope the City would electrify the settlement so we didn’t have to resort to using illegal connections. We’ve lost many people, including my brother now and we would like a workable solution which could help the residents of the settlement and avoid a tragedy like this in the future,” he said.

 

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  AUTHOR
Shiraz Habbib
Journalist

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