Families of 3 children electrocuted in PMB say deaths could have been avoided

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The bodies of six-year-old Gift Dlamini and eight-year-olds, Ernest Dekwa and Buhlebuyeza Jili, were recovered from a stream, which contained illegal electric cables on Saturday.

The bodies of six-year-old Gift Dlamini and eight-year-olds Ernest Dekwa and Nomagaba Jili were recovered from a local stream on 28 November 2020. They died after being electrocuted in a stream in the Jika Joe informal settlement in Pietermaritzburg. Pictures: Supplied.

DURBAN – The three children who died after being electrocuted in a stream in the Jika Joe informal settlement in Pietermaritzburg have been described as well-behaved, with many community members saying their deaths could have been avoided.

The bodies of six-year-old Gift Dlamini and eight-year-olds, Ernest Dekwa and Buhlebuyeza Jili, were recovered from a stream, which contained illegal electric cables on Saturday.

It is understood that the children entered the stream for a swim without adult supervision.

Dlamini’s mother, Sweleni, said that she believed that her son’s death could have been avoided if there were recreational amenities for children in the area.

“I am devastated by the loss of my son. I had hoped that one day he would grow up to become a doctor,” she said.

Dekwa’s mother, Thabile, said that the incident was taking a financial toll on her.

“I would like my son to be buried back home in the Eastern Cape, but it’s expensive to take the body there,” she said.

An emotional Nomagaba Jili, the mother of Buhlebuyeza, said that she was still grieving the loss of her son.

“He was kind, he loved people, he was intelligent and obedient,” Jili said.

The bereaved families and community members criticised the Msunduzi Local Municipality, saying that the failure to provide adequate shelter contributed to the deaths.

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