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City Power Claims No Responsibility in Death

Johannesburg, South Africa – An investigation by the utility’s technical experts was carried out at the 6th Avenue home on Wednesday in the presence of the parents and Michael Lingwood, the uncle, of two-year-old Jessica Botha, spokesman Sicelo Xulu said.

The girl was electrocuted in the servant’s quarters of the Lingwood home on Monday.

Michael Lingwood reportedly claimed it happened after repair work was done by City Power on a faulty power meter, and that the utility bypassed the meter and the earth leakage.

Xulu said in a statement the preliminary investigation showed City Power could not have been responsible. The investigation established the following facts “in the presence of close family members”:

— There were two houses situated on the land in 6th Avenue, 61 and 61A. The death occurred at 61A.

— There was a single supply cable feed from City Power to number 61 which was looped to 61A. Each house has separate meters and individual supplies.

— At number 61 it was confirmed the existing meter had previously been bridged out by City Power in response to a “no power” complaint.

— City Power did not bridge out the earth leakage as alleged in the media.

— At no time did City Power work on the connection with or meters to 61A.

— The meter and earth leakage at 61A were both found in order, with no signs of bridging or tampering.

— City Power’s responsibility ended at the meter. The internal house wiring was the owner’s responsibility.

— The extension cord supplying the appliance at 61A was incorrectly wired and the appliance removed by the SAPS.

“It is however suspected that the appliance became alive and the child came in contact with it.”

There was a loosely plugged electric cord from 61A to the back room downstairs.

In order to determine the cause of the electrocution, the appliance needed to be inspected, Xulu said.

Story via TimesLive.co.za

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