Mpumalanga provincial commissioner of the South African Police Service (SAPS), Lieutenant-General Semakaleng Manamela sent condolences today, to families of two children who lost their lives after being struck by lightning.
The SAPS in Mpumalanga said the “shocking incident” apparently occurred on Saturday, at Sheepmoor in the Gert Sibande District.
“According to information, on the sad day, a group of young boys was playing soccer around 5 pm at a local sports ground when the rain started and the children reportedly went for cover under a tree nearby,” said Mpumalanga SAPS spokesperson Brigadier Selvy Mohlala.
“Unfortunately, nine of the children were struck by lightning whereby two lost their lives. Meanwhile, seven were taken to hospital for medical treatment. An inquest case is being investigated by the police at Sheepmoor.”
The police chief in Mpumalanga has wished a speedy recovery to the injured kids.
“Lieutenant-General Manamela also urged parents to be vigilant and warn their children on the dangers of lightning, and to avoid tall, isolated objects or even to stand near trees during stormy weather or rain,” Mohlala said.
Earlier this month, a lightning strike in KwaZulu-Natal claimed the life of a 13-year-old girl.
The KwaZulu-Natal department of co-operative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta) said that 13-year-old Akhona Sibiya died of her injuries in the Nquthu Local Municipality, northern KZN, after she was struck by lightning.
Cogta MEC Sipho Hlomuka sent disaster management teams to provide support to the Sibiya family, at the time.
Hlomuka warned residents across the province to exercise caution as inclement weather was expected to continue.