News / South Africa

Virginia Keppler
2 minute read
5 Jun 2017
7:00 am

Construction hole claims a life

Virginia Keppler

Installation of electricity poles caused resident’s death in front of his own home.

File image for illustration purposes only.

The body of a 49-year-old man was discovered in an open hole in front of his home in Mabopane, Ward 21, Block B, north of Pretoria.

David Mathabathe had been lying in the hole – between 1.5m and 2m deep – for at least six hours before a neighbour’s child, who happened to walk past, noticed and alerted his family.

The police were called at 9am yesterday morning and responded immediately. Paramedics arrived and declared Mathabathe dead at the scene. According to community members, workers started digging the holes about three weeks ago to install new electricity poles.

However, this particular hole in front of the Mathabathe home was not barricaded for the protection of residents. A family spokesperson, Edward Mathabathe, said they did not want to speculate whether David had fallen into the hole and died or if it was foul play.

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) proportional representative council member in the area Lindiwe Masilela, who was called by community members to the scene, said she was appalled at the fact the hole was left open.

“These types of incidents do not happen in the suburbs.

“That hole would have been barricaded and clearly marked to warn people to stay away from it. Black people in townships deserve the same treatment, respect and recognition,” Masilela said.

“We can no longer blame apartheid for what is happening in this country, we must blame the ANC as they are eating the taxpayers’ money,” she added.

Community members complained that they were given the cold shoulder when they called on ANC councillor Joel Malebogo Sindane of Ward 21 in Mabopane to come to the scene.

“He told us he was attending a meeting, but the meeting is in the same area and he could have just dropped in,” a resident said.

MMC for roads, transport and corporate services Sheila Lynn Senkubuge said: “We are still trying to find out details of who dug the hole.”

Police spokesperson Constable Matsobane Mabusela said an inquest docket had been opened.