Share this article

An investigation by the electricity utility has found that it is not to blame for the electrocution of a toddler in a home in Bezuidenhout Valley.
CITY Power is not responsible for the unfortunate electrocution of a toddler, according to the City.


Acting MD of City Power Sicelo XuluCity is not responsible for Jessica's death, says acting MD of City Power Sicelo XuluFollowing an investigation by City Power, Johannesburg’s electricity distributor, it was concluded that the utility was not responsible for the untimely death of two-year-old Jessica Lingwood of Bezuidenhout Valley.

The investigation was carried out at the Sixth Avenue home of the child, by technical experts from City Power on Wednesday, 12 January, in the presence Michael Lingwood, Jessica’s uncle.

Lingwood, at whose home Jessica was electrocuted, had claimed that it happened after repair work was done by City Power on a faulty power meter and that City Power “had bypassed the meter but also the earth leakage”.

However, the acting managing director of City Power, Sicelo Xulu, noted that the preliminary investigation showed that the utility could not have been responsible for the tragic incident.

During the investigation, it was established that:

There are two houses situated on the land in Sixth Avenue – 61 and 61A.
There is a single supply of cable feed from City Power to house number 61, which looped to house 61A. Each house has separate meters as well as individual supplies.
Number 61 is confirmed to have had the existing meter previously bridged out by the utility in response to a “no power” complaint.
City Power did not bridge out the earth leakage as alleged in The Star newspaper of 11 January.
At no time did the utility work on the connection of meters to house number 61A.
The meter and earth leakage at number 61A were both in order and had no signs of bridging or tampering.
City Power’s responsibility ends at the meter and the internal house wiring is the owner’s responsibility.
The extension cord supplying the appliance at number 61A was incorrectly wired and the appliance had been removed by the South African Police Service. To determine the cause of the electrocution, the appliance needs to be inspected.
It is, however, suspected that the appliance became alive and that Jessica came into contact with it.
Related stories:

Shaking up service delivery
MOEs sum up the year
City companies deliver services