Rorisang Kgosana
Premium Journalist
2 minute read
11 Nov 2017
6:00 am

Death of five Pretoria children ‘linked’ to cable theft

Rorisang Kgosana

Seven children were playing near the high mast light last Saturday when the light ring came down on their heads.

Minister of Energy, David Mahlobo is seen speaking to the bereaved families to convey his condolences, 10 November 2017, 5 children died on Sunday when a high-mast light ring fell down instantly killing four of them, and a fifth child later died in hospital, Block X, Soshanguve. Picture: Jacques Nelles

The falling of a high mast light ring that horrifically killed five Soshanguve children last week would be investigated to ensure “accountability” as the incident related to maintenance of infrastructure.

Department of Energy Minister David Mahlobo and Gauteng MEC for infrastructure Jacob Mamabolo visited the families yesterday to convey condolences following a request by President Jacob Zuma.

Tshwane acting mayor Cilliers Brink had also separately visited the bereaved yesterday after mayor Solly Msimanga was chased away by the community during his attempted visit earlier in the week. “Certainly, we need to get to the bottom of what happened here,” Brink said.

“Others alluded to possible maintenance issues and cable theft. There will be a report and there must be accountability in this case.

“Let us give these residents a dignified and honourable [burial] and we will move from there.”

Seven children were playing near the high mast light last Saturday when the light ring came down on their heads.

Four of the children – Dimpho Bopape, five, Boitshoko Bopape, 11, Lethabo Matibako, nine, and Maikano Khoza, nine – were killed at the scene. Kearabile Baloyi, 11, died later in hospital, while Ofentse Khoza, 11, was to still recovering at George Mukhari Hospital.

The tragedy sparked back-and-forth accusations between the Tshwane ANC and the DA-led government of poor service delivery and politicking.

But Msimanga, who is currently in Germany, announced earlier this week that the city would be paying for the mass funeral.

“Being a caring and responsive administration, I felt it right that this DA-led multi-party administration foot the bill for the funerals that are to take place to alleviate the burden on the families, who are grieving the loss of their loved ones.

“We will ask Gauteng Premier David Makhura to make sure there is credible, reputable and fast process in getting to the facts. “We are deeply worried by what we saw, which points to problems relating to maintenance of infrastructure.” – rorisangk@citizen.co.za

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