Toddlers electrocuted by illegal electrical wires

Thembelihle Ndlela and Kwenzakonke Gazu, both aged 3, were playing near their homes in Zwelisha, north of Durban, on Wednesday

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Kwenzakonke Gazu and Thembelihle Ndlela, both aged 3, were electrocuted by an illegal wire connection while playing near their homes in Zwelisha, north of Durban. Photos were supplied by the families.

The families of two three-year-olds, who were electrocuted by an illegal wire near their homes in Zwelisha, north of Durban, are demanding justice for their deaths.

The toddlers, Thembelihle Ndlela and Kwenzakonke Gazu, were playing in the yard of a nearby house on Wednesday when they were electrocuted. The children were rushed to Ottawa Clinic in Verulam, where they were declared deceased.

Residents say a neighbour made an illegal connection to his shack, and left the exposed live wires on his fence and on the ground. Community member Busani Ngwenya said residents had gone looking for the man but had not found him. “Due to frustration, they burnt his house. We don’t know where he is,” he said.

When GroundUp arrived at the home of Thembelihle, her mother Samkelisiwe Ndlela was sitting in the front room being consoled by relatives and neighbours.

She said she was at work when she got the devastating call. “I rushed home. When I got to the clinic, my child was already dead,” Ndlela said as she burst into tears.

“She was such a loving child, always cheerful.”

“Every morning when I left for work, she would be up and crying, wanting to come with me. But yesterday, she was fast asleep when I left, and I didn’t want to wake her, not knowing it was the last time I would see her alive,” she said.

Thembelihle was the youngest of four children. Her family are demanding that the police find the man who made the illegal connection. “It would have been better if the man came to see us as a family and apologised or something instead of running away. I know my daughter won’t come back, but getting justice for her will bring me closure,” Ndlela said.

Kwenzakonke’s grandmother, Mabongi Gazu, described the scene after the incident. “When I got there, the children were lifeless, but their bodies were still warm,” she said.

Gazu said it broke her heart when she had to call the child’s mother. “No mother deserves to feel such pain. I am angry and hurt,” she said.

KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Robert Netshiunda said that Verulam police are investigating.

TOPICS:  Crime Electricity

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