A 5-year-old boy suffered burns to his face and hands when he was electrocuted after touching a vandalised electricity box in Kewtown while playing outside.
Waasim Crotz’s aunt, Amiena Adams, in whose care he was during the incident, says she is grateful her nephew is still alive.
He had been visiting her on Saturday February 13 and had hidden behind the electricity box while playing outside with his cousins, she said.
“I was in the bath when someone alerted me to it,” Ms Adams said. “I ran out covered in soap and just with a towel around me. It was so heartbreaking seeing him like that. He is a small boy, and he didn’t realise the danger. He was so excited to visit with us. He has burns on his face and hands, but I am so grateful that he is alive.”
She had not known that the box in Eland Street (opposite Block 15) had been damaged, but residents had told her later that it had been like that for a long time, she said.
Fatima Crotz, Waasim’s mother, said she had rushed to her son’s aid after hearing the news.
“We live in Heideveld, and he was visiting his paternal aunt in Kewtown. When she informed me of the incident, I arranged for transport and rushed over to get him to hospital. His cousins said he was hiding behind the box while they were playing, and they heard a ’sh’ sound.
“His whole face was damaged. Even his eyes were swollen, and his hands were covered in blisters.
“I cried with my child. He was so excited to visit his aunt, and because of the trauma he experienced, he is so scared now. He was also looking forward to his first day of ‘big’ school. Now he has already missed almost two weeks of school.”
Waasim was admitted to Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital on the Saturday and discharged on Monday February 15.
Ms Adams reported the vandalised electricity box on the same day of the incident.
“I don’t know if people have reported it before, but when I reported it, the City of Cape Town’s electricity department came out the same day and put a lid on it, and sealed it. I am grateful for this,” she said.
Ward 49 councillor Rashid Adams said cable theft was a problem in his ward.
“Some of the cable thieves are so brazen, and some even lost their lives while doing it. I am appealing to our community – when they see something potentially dangerous, report it immediately. I am happy that the department was able to take action and that the boy would be able to recover,” Mr Adams said.
Ms Crotz said it would be decided at Waasim’s follow-up doctor’s appointment on Friday February 26 whether his hands had healed enough for him to go to school.