Africa-Press – South-Africa. A day of celebration ended in sadness for the Jacobs family from Kranshoek in Plettenberg Bay after five-year-old Bradlin died when he was electrocuted while playing with friends on Saturday.
The Jacobs family are accusing officials at the Bitou Municipality of negligence for not fixing vandalised cables at the local stadium. They say Bradlin was attending a Heritage Day soccer tournament with his mother Jayden Jacobs.
Jacobs said they had gone to the toilet and Bradlin asked if he could play with his friends on the stadium grounds. She said she was startled when minutes later she heard people screaming for her to go inside the stadium. She found her son’s lifeless body on the ground.
“He is my only child and everything I did was for him,” she said.
Bradlin’s grandfather, Bradwell Moos, said he had rushed to the stadium, which is five minutes from their home.
“When I got there, my grandson’s feet were warm. Some people performed CPR, but he didn’t wake up.”
Moss said Bradlin was rushed to hospital, but there was nothing doctors could do.
He said they were told that the stadium’s caretakers had alerted the Bitou Municipality that an electrical box had been vandalised and needed repairs. He added that he would take the municipality to court.
“They must account for the dark cloud they brought to my family,” said Moos.
Ward 7 councillor Annelise Olivier told GroundUp that cables being vandalised was a major problem in the community. She said some areas had been without power for up to a week due to vandalism. Olivier said reporting faults directly to Eskom did not always work immediately.
In a statement on Sunday, the Bitou Municipality said officials “regret the fatal electrocution incident in Kranshoek”.
According to the municipality, initial reports indicated that the electrical box at the Kranshoek Sportsfield was vandalised to allow for unauthorised access to live electricity. “Unfortunately, this is also how the five-year-old boy gained access, even though the municipality’s padlock was still in place.”
Spokesperson Andile Namntu said the councillor, deputy mayor and speaker had visited the family on Monday. He said that they could not comment on the family’s threat of legal action.
Southern Cape police spokesperson Captain Malcolm Pojie said an inquest docket had been opened.
Jacobs said she would never recover from her son’s death.
“My boy was cheerful, vibrant with a loud laugh. He was the life of the party and a good boy who loved school.”
Bradlin was in Grade R at Kranshoek Primary School.
The Jacobs family is waiting for the forensics report, and plans to bury Bradlin next Saturday.