UPDATE: Metro to foot Soshanguve funeral bills

The Tshwane metro will pay for the funerals of the five children who were killed in a high mast light accident on Saturday.

“Being a caring and responsive administration I felt it right we foot the bill for the funerals to alleviate the burden on the families who are grieving the loss of their loved ones,” Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga said in a statement on Thursday.

ALSO READ: NEWSFLASH: Five children were found dead north of Pretoria

“Our duty is to our people and we will endeavour to ensure that this sort of tragedy is prevented from happening in future to the best of our ability.”

The incident – in which five children aged between six and 12 were killed when a panel housing the lights fell on them – has proven to be a political minefield for the DA-led multi-party administration.

The incident has been blamed on cable theft and vandalism of Eskom property.

Msimanga was scheduled to visit the grieving families on Monday morning, but was stopped from doing so by the community’s political leadership.

“We were sadly prevented from getting to sit with the families by those who want to play political games around the tragedy,” Msimanga said at the time.

“Mayor Solly Msimanga must take responsibility for the deaths of five children killed in a high mast light accident in Soshanguve,” the South

African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) said.

Sanco national spokesperson Jabu Mahlangu urged the Tshwane mayor to speedily close all open meter boxes and secure high mast lights, including electrical poles with open wires, across its jurisdiction.

“They (city of Tshwane) are pointing fingers and apportioning blame at everyone except themselves,” said Mahlangu.

“What must be investigated is when last was the high mast light panel serviced? Who did the poor job and who did the inspection thereafter?”

ALSO READ: UPDATE: Blame-game after 5 north children killed in high-mast light collapse

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Robinson Nqola

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