Cape Town – A Wesbank family is blaming the death of their baby on a three-day power outage in the area.
Laverne Anthony, the mother of two-month-old Taygon, said that due to electricity protests in the area, they couldn’t get the child to hospital in time.
She explains: “Between 1am and 2am on Monday, Taygon woke up and I breastfed him before he went back to sleep again.
“Then when his father, Gurshwinn Karolus, woke up for work at 4.30am, we noticed that he was not responding.”
The family lives in a Wendy house in Waterblom Street.
The heartbroken parents called Taygon’s grandparents, who live in the main house of the property.
Andre Swart, Taygon’s grandfather, said that when the family called for the ambulance, the emergency services were unable to get to the house due to ongoing protests in the area.
“The people were burning tyres and throwing stones at cars since the night before so the ambulance could not come to the house,” he says.
“We then got into a car and drove Taygon to Delft Day Hospital, who then transferred him to Tygerberg Hospital, but by then it was too late.
“We are not angry with the protesters because many people and parents here are suffering from not having electricity.
“Our food is going off, it is so cold at night and we cannot use heaters and our phones’ batteries are flat.
“Nobody from Eskom has come to tell us why the power has been off for three days now.”
When the Daily Voice visited the area yesterday, the roads were littered with stones and burnt tyres that were still smoking.
Traffic at the intersections was chaotic as the lights were still out.
At Taygon’s family home, the family were still visibly hurt at the loss of their newborn
Gurshwinn was unable to speak, only uttering that he felt ’’broken’’.
Fighting back the tears and holding Taygon’s 11-year-old brother, Laverne said: “It is very sad that this happened, just hartseer (heartsore). I just do not have the words. Taygon was too young to handle the cold and we did everything we could to help him.”
The parents say they have to go to Tygerberg Hospital today to get the official cause of death.
Police spokesperson Captain FC van Wyk confirmed that police were on the scene for the protests which went into the night.
“A case of public violence was registered at Mfuleni SAPS in Wesbank, after a group of community members burnt tyres in the streets. No one was arrested and no reports were received of anyone being injured,” he said.
Eskom spokesperson Kyle Cookson said they were only made aware of the situation in Wesbank yesterday and that power would be restored by 11pm last night.
Ward 19 councillor Ebrahim Sawant, who held a community meeting last night, said that cable theft was partly to blame for the issue.