500 left homeless after killer storm

Riot Hlatshwayo

Torrential rain and heavy hail storms lashed Mpumalanga on Monday evening, killing two people and leaving more than 500 others homeless.

Nearly 50 injured people were hospitalised, trees uprooted and roofs blown away by the storm that started at about 5pm.

Affected villages include Dumphries A, B and C, Anthol, Lepong, Shoti and Marite Trust, all in the Busdhbuckridge area.

An elderly woman was hit by corrugated iron sheets and died. A one-year-old boy was found drowned in a flooded street .

When Sowetan arrived at Dumphries C yesterday corrugated iron sheets were scattered all over the village.

Displaced residents congregated at the local sports ground to meet government officials. The officials included Premier Thabang Makwetla, MEC for local government and housing Candish Mashego-Dlamini and officials from agriculture, land affairs and the Bushbuckridge municipality.

Bochiwana Silawule, 64, said she was in her RDP house when the storm started.

"I suddenly saw the roof being blown away," she said. "It was raining heavily and there were hail stones. Something hit my cheek but I kept running."

Mhala police spokesman Robert Makhubele confirmed the two deaths.