Police are investigating the death of a baby who was electrocuted after coming into contact with live electricity cables on 25 January.
According to the Reiger Park SAPS spokesperson Sergeant Mashudu Phathela, 13-month-old Nkosinathi Mashaba was electrocuted outside his family shack in Road Reserve, Ramaphosa.
The family reportedly told the police the boy exited the shack and crawled across the small yard towards the gate where he touched the exposed live cables running past the family’s shack, which is being used to connect electricity illegally.
“We have registered an inquest docket to establish circumstances around the death of the baby.
Road Reserve informal settlement is one of the many areas identified as illegal connection hot spots in the City of Ekurhuleni.
Early last year, a two-year-old child, Prince Wisani Kona, died after touching exposed electricity cables while playing with friends in his neighbour’s yard in Extension Two in Ramaphosa.
Both the metro and police warned residents against the dangers of illegal connections, which have so far claimed scores of lives, mostly innocent children in the informal settlements.
Metro expresses condolences
Metro spokesperson Zweli Dlamini has on behalf of the City of Ekurhuleni expressed condolences to the family of the electrocuted baby, who died as a result of illegal connections.
“As the City, we are shattered at the loss of an innocent child who died as a result of actions by senseless thugs, who steal from the City to enrich themselves at the expense of innocent children.
“We have and will always condemn illegal connections as it puts lives of innocent people in danger. It’s sad to lose life due to something that could have been prevented.
“Our humble appeal to members of the City is that they should join the fight against illegal connections by assisting our law-enforcement agencies to find and bring the perpetrators to book.
“This practice not only costs the City millions in lost revenue, it is a danger to the residents, especially children,” said Dlamini.
The metro vowed that its energy department would intensify the disconnection of illegal connections across the City, while continuing raising awareness about the dangers of tampering with the power utility.
Dlamini pointed out that the City experienced network overloading as a result of the illegal connections, which lead to overloading of the network, resulting in frequent outages as experienced in past winter seasons.
Residents can report any acts of cable theft and illegal connections they witness around their areas to the municipal call centre on 086 054 3000 or the police.
This article first appeared on Boksburg Advertiser and was republished with permission.