More than 30 families were left homeless when a massive storm struck President Jacob Zuma’s home village of KwaNxamalala in Nkandla in northern KwaZulu-Natal on Tuesday night.
A child was rushed to hospital and several elderly women were treated at a local clinic after sustaining injuries during the storm. It also damaged the KwaNxamalala traditional court building and the Lindela Thusong Service Centre that houses government offices, including Home Affairs.
It is believed the child was hit by flying debris as she and her family sought refuge at a neighbour’s home after the roof of their house was ripped off.
Local ANC councillor Sibongiseni Bhengu yesterday said they had not yet been able to quantify the damage.
“The roofs of several homesteads were ripped apart by the storm. A child had to be taken to hospital after being injured, and several elderly women were taken to a local clinic where they were treated and discharged,” Bhengu said.
Local chief Bhekumuzi Zuma said much of the traditional court building had been damaged.
“The damage is huge. It’s going to take some time to fix it,” Zuma said.
Yesterday, workers were already repairing the roof of the Home Affairs office.
The local satellite police station, also situated at the Lindela Thusong Service Centre, was operational yesterday, but all other government facilities in the centre were forced to temporarily shut down.
Acting Nkandla municipal manager Sandile Sibisi said at least 35 homesteads were affected by the storm and the municipality was providing food parcels to the victims.
“We’re also trying to secure damaged roofs to assist those families who have been affected,” he said.
Sibisi said it was still too early to estimate the cost of the damage.