News agency, Cape Town, South Africa
Tuesday July 16th 2019

Philippi boy killed by illegal connection


Illegal electricity connections criss-cross the Siyahlala informal settlement in Philippi, one of which killed nine-year-old Ncedo Gebhuza on Wednesday afternoon. Photo: Sandiso Phaliso/WCN

The death of a nine-year-old Philippi boy who was electrocuted when he stepped on am illegally connected wire on Wednesday afternoon has prompted residents to cut all illegal connections in the area.

The residents of Siyahlala informal settlement have also renewed their calls for electricity to be provided to the community.

Paramedics rushed to the scene after receiving a call at about 3.30pm but declared Ncedo Gebhuza dead on the scene when they arrived shortly afterwards.

The victim’s parents and neighbours rushed to the scene when Ncedo’s friends alerted elders that “an accident had happened and Ncedo was lying on the ground not moving”, said the family’s neighbour Mzi Myeki.

In tears, Ncedo’s mother Nomalungisa Gebhuza, today morning said the City needed to electrify the area so that no other children were killed by illegal wiring.

She said Ncedo was the youngest of her three children.

It is believed Ncedo was playing barefoot with his friends in the alleys between shacks in the informal settlement when he stood on an illegally connected wire.

Immediately after he collapsed, his friends called for help.

Myeki said he was sitting in the shade outside his home and rushed to the scene when he heard the children’s cries.

He found Ncedo lying “with his face on the sand”.

“It was clear he was dead and the next move was to alert his mother,” said Myeki.

“I still don’t believe he is gone,” said Nomalungisa, “he was my hope.”

“My spirit has is down but I am tryng.”

She said the illegal electricity connections should have been removed long ago.

“If the City (of Cape Town) could help the people by connecting their houses with legal electricity my son would be alive today,” she said, wiping tears from her cheeks.

Provincial police spokesperson Frederick van Wyk confirmed a Ncedo’s death and said an inquest docket had been opened. – Sandiso Phaliso

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