The mother of a 12-year-old boy from Umbilo, KwaZulu-Natal, who suffered severe head injuries and is in an induced coma in hospital after a tree branch fell on top of him and his grandmother, has criticised eThekwini Municipality for failing to approach her to find out about the incident or show any concern for her son and mother, Berea Mail reports.
Jayshree Joshua has also accused the city of negligence after officials allegedly failed to respond to requests from residents to cut down the tree branch which was damaged in the October storm.
However, her accusations have been dismissed by city communications spokesperson Tozi Mthethwa, who said the Parks Department conducted a site visit and found no trees located in the street.
“We cannot establish the actual location or find any evidence of a heavy branch in the street that could be the cause of any alleged injury. The matter was also never reported to the Parks Department. However, the Department will continue to investigate the matter further.”
She said the Parks Department was currently working hard to remove the trees that were uprooted by the storm and the priority was to clear all roads and pathways that were blocked by fallen trees and to ensure that the areas are made safe.
“We are currently busy with the removal of stumps that are still lying along the roadsides. The Department has also engaged external service providers to speed up the process to have the City clean for the festive season. We expect that this will be completed by the end of December.”
According to Joshua her son, Aaryan, mum, Nancy Subramoney and her other two children had been to Spar in Queensmead Mall and were walking home when the branch fell on Aaryan and her mum. “The branch had been hanging over the fence at the hockey grounds and residents said they had contacted the municipality to request it was cut down, but nothing had been done. The branch fell on Aaryan and knocked my mum over. She broke the femur in her one leg and needs to have an operation to put in plates,” she said.
She said Nancy, a pensioner, had been admitted to King Edward Hospital as she had no medical aid, and her operation was scheduled for this week.