City Power has cut off the electricity to the home of the Crosby couple who were reportedly electrocuted, saying the connection had been tampered with.
This following a heated meeting with the couple’s family on Thursday.
City Power CEO Mongezi Ntsokolo and his delegation visited the Sarang home after newlyweds Zaheer Sarang and Nabeelah Khan were found dead in their Crosby home shortly after their return from their honeymoon. It is suspected they were electrocuted.
The officials were asked to leave the Sarang home, following a heated meeting that lasted for more than an hour, when they informed the family that the power to their home would be cut off.
“Apparently, they came to first send condolences, but it went totally square because he made an accusation that there is some kind of illegal connection here.
“I never called for a meeting. They just pitched up here without an appointment, but nevertheless, I allowed them in because I thought they would come and pay their respects, but honestly, he started to tell me that his guys opened the box and they saw one red wire that wasn’t supposed to be there and that’s the feeder that is taking electricity without paying. I stopped him there to say you are out of line,” said Sarang’s father, Yusuf.
Shortly after the meeting, City Power released a statement saying its preliminary investigations had found the meter box had been tampered with.
“City Power found that the meter was bridged and the earth was disconnected on the meter box which is inside the customer’s house. This confirms our earlier suspicion that our network could have been tampered with, leading to instability in the voltage,” said spokesperson Isaac Mangena.
“Further observation is that we suspect that the earth leakage on the customer’s box was faulty or tampered with since the meter was tampered with during the bridging. If there was an earth fault, the earth leakage should have tripped instead of shocking the couple.”
Mangena added the power would be off until the legal requirements for safe connection have been established and that the family needed to follow the reconnection process.
Reacting to the statement, Yusuf told News24 City Power was victim-blaming and he had proof he was paying for electricity.
He questioned why it only became a safety concern to them now that lives have been lost, but when they complained three weeks ago, nothing was done about it.
“This is crazy, and it’s uncalled for. We are the victims here. They say I’ve got an illegal connection. I’ve been living here for 15 years. Is all this necessary when we’re going through so much. Our lives are already difficult,” Yusuf said.
Meanwhile, City Power said Mayfair and Crosby were plagued with infrastructure vandalism and people bypassing their meters.
“We urge residents to desist from tampering with electricity infrastructure – including bypassing our meters, vandalism and illegal connections – which may lead to the circuit malfunctioning.
Communities should also stop the illegality of paying people to work on our network, as this is not only illegal in terms of the law, but also dangerous and interferes with the functioning of our circuit, and customers may start experiencing surges and equipment shocking them, or lower than normal voltage. We also encourage customers to test their earth leakage devices regularly,” Mangena said.
Kayleen Morgan & Lwandile Bhengu