Shack fire boy (11) dies, Sasol learns


“That’s terrible,” were the words of Sasol spokesman Alex Anderson last night when the 013NEWS reporter asked him over the phone whether the company had heard about Vusi Shabangu’s passing away.

Anderson would contact Secunda “to get more information on this. But that sounds very terrible”.

The South African chemical and energy company last week agreed they would pay just over R460 000 for Shabangu to reach Red Cross Children Hospital in Western Cape and back by plane.

Earlier, Mpumalanga Health department spokesman Dumisani Malamule had said in a statement: “Due to the seriousness of the boy’s condition, the department contacted the Red Cross Hospital in Western Cape on 15 August 2016 and requested them to admit the patient after several hospitals in other provinces could not provide assistance.

“The hospital agreed and also committed that they will treat the patient for free and only requested us to take full responsibility for the transportation of the patient from Evander Hospital to the Red Cross Children Hospital in the Western Cape.

“Then we requested a quotation from Halo Aviation which was amounting to R463 231 94 to and from Western Cape.

“Given this huge amount, the department sought sponsors and then Sasol committed itself they will take responsibility for the payment of the transportation costs to and from Western Cape”.

Then last week Thursday 11-year-old Vusi was transported through an ER24 ambulance from Secunda’s Evander Hospital to the OR Tambo International Airport, where he was flown to Western Cape.

But last night the Mpumalanga News reported that the province Health MEC, Gillion Mashego, had “learnt with shock about the passing of the boy”.

“This is very sad indeed that we lost the boy just an hour after he had arrived,” Mashego is quoted saying on the paper’s website.

“We had high hopes that he had a better chance of living now that he had been admitted to that hospital. Our heart-felt condolences are with the bereaved family,” said Mashego.

READ: Sasol helps Mpumalanga Health Department to transport victim of fire

The 11-year-old Vusi Shabangu was burnt inside his eMbalenhle township shack home on the Sunday night of 31 July together with a three-year-old brother when a candle-light fell while they were sleeping and their grand-mother allegedly out drinking. The children
had been left by their mother, who works in Johannesburg, in gogos care.

(edited by MLM)

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