Teen gets the shock of his life

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October 31, 2016
Teen gets the shock of his life

LUCKY TO BE ALIVE: Tasreeq van Willingh, 19 CREDIT: Manqoba Ngidi

Philippi young man is nearly electrocuted while trying to fix an illegal connection.

This 19-year-old man nearly shocked himself to death while trying to steal electricity.

Tasreeq van Willingh and his friend, Simphiwe Maruw, 21, were attempting to fix an illegal connection for power to the Jim Se Bos informal settlement in Philippi when he got a moerse shock.

The two climbed up an electrical pole last Monday to reconnect a loose cable to the main supply box.

But things went horribly when Tasreeq accidentally touched a live wire.

Last month, 17-year-old Mark Smith died while also attempting to reconnect a cable to the same box.

Tasreeq explains: “I was taking the pliers out of my left pocket and held my right hand on the box and was taking out the cable when I got shocked.

“I found myself lying flat on my face and on the ground. They say I twisted and turned in the air.”

Tasreeq was rushed to hospital for treatment to the huge holes burnt into his back and arm.

Community leader, Anthony Dyson, says City officials have blood on their hands because residents were promised power after Mark’s death.

“After Mark died, the ward councillor said he would see that there is electricity here,” he says.

“Do they want more people to die?

“We make sure our connections are done with new cables and that it doesn’t touch the shacks but we need electricity here.

“When it is dark, the gangs march into our homes and place our valuables into dirtbins.”

The land is privately owned by businessman, Shaik Abdulla ‘”Abe” Parker.

Ward councillor Elton Jansen says he never promised electricity to the community but is trying to help.

“I have engaged with the landowner and community leaders to revisit the permission given by the owner to allow services on his land,” he says.

“We have not promised electricity to anyone, the community is aware of this consultative process with the owner and the City is totally aware of the issue of privately owned land.”

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