A sleeping 24-year-old South African man, Nhlanhla Mthembu, was killed instantly when the wall of his home collapsed on him, the result of the heavy rain and age of the house, according to reports.
The house was built in the 1960s and was made of poor building material, and the sand and cement structure was not strong enough to keep the wall standing during the downpours.
Mthembu’s uncle, Bafana Mthembu, 55, said he was sleeping on the other side of the house when he heard a loud bang. Then, it all went quiet.
“Nhlanhla was sleeping alone in his room and after I heard the loud bang, I walked to his side of the house to check what was happening. “I saw the wall on the floor and his bed was flattened. He didn’t make a noise or cry for help when the wall collapsed.
My sister’s child died a very painful death and this could have been avoided had the previous councillor heeded our call for help with an RDP house.
“We stayed here because we have nowhere else to go and we are all unemployed,” Mthembu said. Having called the neighbours for help, Nhlanhla’s lifeless body was removed from under the wall and taken to a government mortuary.
“We were nine in this house: my sisters and five children aged between six and 18 years. “We have now received accommodation from different relatives because no one can continue living within these walls as they are unstable. “There are many more houses like this in this area, but there are people who have RDP houses who don’t deserve them.
“Our councillor has promised to visit and tell us what assistance is available for us,” he said. Another resident said her wall collapsed last year, but no one was injured. Bad weather had also been the cause, she said.