Three houses suffered big damages and 10 people, including children, were affected when a huge Marula tree fell during a heavy rain that lashed on Saturday night, 24 October 2020 at Marapong Extension 2, accompanied by strong winds.
Fortunately, no one was injured nor casualties were reported in these cases as the residents escaped unharmed. One owner of an RDP house, Elisabeth Kunene said she called the Councillor to come and assist her and was told that she will be assisted once the rain settled down.
Kunene said she called her Councillor to come and help her and was told to wait until the rain cools down. At first, she said they were told to go to his house and said she couldn’t because she had to look after her property as she feared that it could be stolen. Kunene said she waited until 5h30 am the next morning as promised that she will be assisted.
“They came now in the evening, around to-6pm. I am very hurt because I’ve been out of my house since last night and I haven’t eaten since yesterday, I didn’t bath too,” said Kunene.
Charles Mokitlane who also fell a victim of the incident said his wife and their toddler, were trapped in a shack after the tree fell on the roof. Mokitlane said he felt lost and didn’t know where to run to for help to rescue his wife and child who were trapped in a shack. He said his neighbor was able to assist him to save his family.
Welhemina, another affected member said they have been complaining about the Marula tree to be cut because they saw this kind of incident happening. She said the tree has destroyed her kitchen, DStv aerial and dining room.
Meanwhile, Ward 1 Councillor William Motlokoa said they were able to provide food parcels and a new shack to the affected family where the houses were damaged. He said there’s a confusion that three houses were damaged when in fact it was one.
Motlokoa said he was phoned around 23h00 in the evening about the incident. The Councillor said he went to the scene after the rain cooled down and told the homeowner that they will be assisted the following day after attending the funeral.
When asked if it was true that he failed to provide a temporary shelter for the affected family on the night of the incident, Motlokoa denied the allegations saying that he asked the person if they had an accommodation and the person agreed.
He went on to deny allegations that they told the family that they would arrive the following day at 05h00 in the morning. “The department that is responsible for disaster agreed to attend the scene after I had asked them but did not mention the time of arrival because they had a funeral to attend to. And their visit was only to do an assessment on the damaged homes and make recommendations on what needed to be fixed,” he said.