A Verulam woman is nursing her wounds and her dignity after falling into a six-metre sewer pit on Saturday.
Durban – A Verulam woman is nursing her wounds and her dignity after falling into a six-metre sewer pit on Saturday.
Rebecca Rosendaw, 45, moved into an outbuilding near Mount Vernon earlier this month. On Saturday she was sprinkling Jeyes fluid around the property to ward off snakes when a portion of the concrete caved in.
Rosendaw said she did not know there was a sewer pit on the property and wants the landlady to be held accountable for what happened.
“I could have died. I keep having nightmares that I am falling into a dark hole and can’t get out. I can still get that smell of sewerage on me,” she said.
Rosendaw, a housewife, said she and her partner, Randhir Deochand, moved onto the property a few days before the incident.
“The landlady told me that due to the hot weather, snakes settled in the yard. So, on Saturday, Randhir and I decided to sprinkle the area with Jeyes fluid.
“We completed the front of the house and moved to the side of the property. I was about to scoop the water from the bucket when I felt the concrete cave in under me. I fell straight down into the water.
“I tried to scream, but I kept going deeper and water went inside my mouth. I did not know what was happening. I think I must have been underwater for several seconds. I struggled to push myself to the surface.
“When I reached the top, I shouted for Randhir to save me and I reached out to him to pull me out. But I was covered in filth and slime. Every time, Randhir tried to grab my hand, it slipped.”
Deochand called her brother Suchin, who also rents an outbuilding on the same property, to help.
“I must have been in there for at least five minutes until my brother came and they both lifted me out. My hip and back hurt. I think I even blacked-out for a few seconds.”
Rosendaw went to hospital where she was treated for bruises over most of her body.
“I signed a rental contract that we would respect her rules, but I did not get the same respect in return. I should have been told that a sewer pit was so close to my outbuilding. Why was it covered with just a thin slab of concrete? I keep thinking what could have happened had I been alone that day. I would have died.”
The owner of the property, who declined to be named, expressed shock about what had happened.
“We have been living here for almost 50 years and never had any problems. I walk over that concrete almost every day to get to my garden. I don’t know how this happened, but it must have been wear and tear.“
She said she had called in builders to repair the damage.
“I had bought all the items needed to properly cover it and make sure it does not happen again. I just feel they are now trying to get money out of me that I don’t have. I am a pensioner and had to buy all the items using a credit card,” she said.