Motherwell youngster Hlomla Dubula, 2, has had to overcome a big fright, sleeping problems and constant itching after sustaining extensive burns to his face while apparently playing with an electrical “box” last week.
According to Hlomla’s grandmother, Sesie Dike, Hlomla and a friend had come upon a “box” which had been standing open and a stick was used to poke inside, causing sparks.
“I cannot say if he had put his hands in the box or what, but he also suffered some burns to his left arm and hand,” she said.
His angry mother, Xolelwa Dubula, 38 who works at the Avbob funeral parlour in King William’s Town. said she would be consulting a lawyers to take action against the municipality for the pain and trauma suffered by her son.
Xolelwa said she had been beside herself when she found out what had happened. “So many emotions were going through my mind at the time.”
Dike, 53, said the family was just grateful the incident had not been more serious.
Dike, who sells fish and chips from her Mpofu Street home, said she had been inside when the incident happened.
“I was cleaning some fish, and he was playing outside with his friend. This is a closed street and he regularly plays where we can keep an eye on him,” Dike explained.
“I Just heard a loud bang outside. The electricity went out in the entire street. At first, I had no idea that Hlomla had been injured. It was only when I saw him pulling pieces of skin from his face I knew something was wrong.”
They first rushed Hlomla to a clinic in Motherwell NU5 and he was later taken to Mercantile Hospital. He is expected to make a full recovery.
Municipal spokesman Mthubanzi Mniki said the municipality was not aware of the incident and wished Hlomla a speedy recovery. He also said electricity officials had been sent to attend to the box.
“The municipality would like to advise parents to supervise their children and warn them against fiddling and playing with electricity installations and other municipal infrastructure installations as this poses a high risk for their children,” Mniki added.
He said investigations into the matter were continuing.