Lightning kills young man, pals survive

SURVIVOR: Tebogo Matlapeng, 20, one of the young men who were strike by lightning at Tlhabane in Rustenburg. PHOTO : ANTONIO MUCHAVE. 05/05/2010. © Sowetan.
SURVIVOR: Tebogo Matlapeng, 20, one of the young men who were strike by lightning at Tlhabane in Rustenburg. PHOTO : ANTONIO MUCHAVE. 05/05/2010. © Sowetan.

RESIDENTS of Tlhabane near Rustenburg say they are more terrified than ever of lightning after a young man was struck dead.

RESIDENTS of Tlhabane near Rustenburg say they are more terrified than ever of lightning after a young man was struck dead.

On Friday a woman who lives on 24th Avenue, near the veld in which the tragedy happened, said she heard a "loud, frightening bang".

A little while later one of the young men who had been on the scene where the lightning had struck, crawled into the woman's kitchen.

"The youth collapsed on my kitchen floor after pushing the door open," she said. "He was screaming. He said he and his friends had been hit by lightning. He was trembling and complaining of a pain in his legs."

When she looked in the direction in which the youth was pointing, she said she saw smoke rising from the bushes.

She called her neighbours, who rushed out to help. They said smoke was coming out of the boys' bodies and their shoes and clothes had been ripped to shreds.

Two of the young men were screaming. One was silent.

Godfrey Serame Majombozi, 21, died on the spot where he and three friends had sheltered under a tree during a light drizzle.

Godfrey's father, Groovy Majombozi, was devastated .

"Someone had covered my son with a towel. They told me it was Godfrey but I refused to believe them. I lifted the towel. He looked so peaceful. He did not look like a dead person," he said.

Godfery's friends Tebogo Matlapeng, 20, Tshepang Mogakade, 19, and a young man who chose to remain anonymous, sustained burns.

Matlapeng's injuries were the worst. He had burns to his thighs, especially in the the area around his trouser pocket in which he had kept his cellphone.

He was in great pain, his movements were slow and he had to lie down on a couch while talking to Sowetan.

Matlapeng and Mogakade were treated at the nearby Ferncrest Hospital after the incident. They were discharged on the same day.

Their friend, who had suffered minor burns to his thighs, was treated at the Impala mine hospital.

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