A newlywed couple from Johannesburg who had just returned home from their honeymoon were both found dead in the shower on Sunday, June 12. Zaheer Sarang and Nabeela Khan-Sarang were electrocuted and died.
24-year-old Khan was allegedly electrocuted after touching a tap in the shower and her husband was electrocuted when he tried to help her.
The family of the deceased opened a case, paying a R10 000 Admission of Guilt fine to City Power after they claimed no case had been opened prior.
A case has since been opened with City Power launching its own investigation following the couple dying in a bathroom in a cottage on their parents’ property.
City Power spokesperson, Isaac Mangena said they found evidence of meter tampering and an illegal electricity connection on the property.
As per IOL, there are suspicions of foul play, with belief that the residents tampered with the meter to bypass the calculation of consumption. According to City Power, the earth wire was disconnected and the current did not trip when a fault was detected.
Mangena said the following in a statement.
“We have also fixed their meter and they promised to start buying electricity. However, the family’s electricity supply remains disconnected until such time the legal requirements for safe connection have been established,” said Mangena.
Previous reports of problems issued by the family are on record but only with regards to outages.
City Power records show that the family had previously reported problems but Mangena said they had only reported outages.
“The family had connected a cable from our overhead cable supplying the main house, cut it in the middle before it could reach the main house distribution box and connected the couple in the other house. That cable burnt completely and we suspect it could be the reason for the electrocution.
“City Power found that the meter was bridged, and whoever did so disconnected the earth on the meter box, which is inside the customer’s house. This confirms our earlier suspicion that our network could have been tampered with, leading to instability in the voltage,” Mangena continued.
It is allegedly not uncommon for residents and businesses to skip payments by stopping the counter on the meter. These illegal connections can be seen across the city, with connections hanging dangerously from one building to the next.
Mayfair and Crosby are plagued by illegal connections, said City Power spokesperson, with the cottage hot-wired to the main house as a source of power. No one was paying for the electricity because the meter in the main house had been tampered with.
“Immediately where there is vandalism or tampering, there is malfunction already. We checked the meter and found that the earth live wire was not there. If it is not there, that creates shocks. You could touch a door and be shocked. They were not buying electricity after vandalising the meter and that can only be the reason why there was an electrocution,” he said.
Mangena cautioned residents to have their connections checked by a qualified electrician.