Thu, 02 Jul 2020

A Durban family is struggling to come to terms with the death of their parents following heavy storms in and around the city on Monday.

Amaoti couple Nomathamsanqa Nyangule, 55, and Simangaliso Zondo, 69, died after the roof and wall of their house collapsed on them at around 21:00 on Monday.

Also on Monday in rural KwaZulu-Natal, an Okhahlamba woman, 24-year-old Sthembile Zimba, was killed following a lightning strike, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Sipho Hlomuka said.

Speaking to journalists outside their devastated home, the couple's daughter, Zilungile Nyangule, 19, said she was at a loss for words after her parents' death.

"We were so close. They meant the world to me. We loved each other. I don't know what to say because we were so close."

Nyangule said they were asleep when the family woke to a loud bang.

"It was around 21:00, my sister and I were sleeping. I heard a noise and woke up and came to the sitting room and saw the walls on top of my parents. We called the community to help, which they did, but [my parents] were dead."

Durban Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda sent his condolences to the family.

"We have visited the family and passed on our heartfelt condolences. We pledge our support for them during this difficult period," Kaunda said.

He cautioned motorists to drive slowly when it rains and urged residents not to throw garbage in drainage systems.

"We have put together a team from all units led by disaster management so we can deal with the damage. In some areas bridges have collapsed, and roads developed sinkholes."


Hlomuka called on residents residing in low-lying areas to seek shelter on higher ground.

"We are urging residents to be extremely cautious as severe thunderstorms [are expected]."

He said the northern areas of the province - which include uThukela, Mzinyathi, Amajuba and Zululand district municipalities - could be affected.

"Our teams are on the ground and we are urging residents to be cautious and to double-check the weather forecast before making any long journeys. We appeal to parents and teachers to ensure that scholars utilise proper routes going to and coming back from schools."

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