A four-year-old boy playing outside his house was killed when he touched a fence powered by a neighbour’s alleged illegal electricity connection in George, the municipality said.
As if that is not enough, the distraught mother of the little boy was also electrocuted the day after his death.
George Mayor Leon van Wyk said the child was electrocuted while playing at home in Thembalethu. His mother was electrocuted the following day while hanging up washing, but she survived.
According to Van Wyk, the municipality was only notified on Sunday after both incidents.
“Ophayo Tukushe sadly lost his life on Saturday afternoon, 22 January 2022 after he got electrocuted while playing at his Thembalethu home. The information available at this stage indicates that Ophayo touched an energised fence that ran past his home to nearby informal settlements.
“I am deeply saddened by this tragedy; words cannot describe how sad I am for the loss of this toddler. His future has been stolen from him, I cannot imagine the pain Ophayo’s parents and loved ones must be undergoing. May the family of Ophayo be comforted during this very difficult time,” Van Wyk said.
He furthermore said on Sunday, the grieving mother of late Ophayo was also electrocuted by the same energised fence that ran past her property while hanging washing. She, fortunately, survived the incident.
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According to Van Wyk, the Municipal electro-technical department confirmed that the energised fence from which Ophayo got electrocuted was an illegal connection had been removed.
Western Cape police spokesperson Sergeant Christopher Spies reportedly said an inquest docket was opened to investigate what led to the toddler’s death, and a post-mortem had already been conducted.
An electricity connection is considered illegal when connected to the George municipal network without its permission.
Typically, illegal connections involve wires that are connected to a mini-substation or overhead pole, and other illegal electrification schemes include meter tampering and bypassing.
The municipality said illegal connections should be reported to 044 803 9222 or 044 801 9222 or after hours on 044 801 6300.