Latest News Editor's Choice


Opinion / Columnist

Local tourist falls into into the Victoria Falls gorge on New year's eve

by Njabulo
05 Jan 2021 at 17:44hrs | Views
This is bad news for all people in our country. The department responsible for erection of fences to protect people from falling or slipping into the gauge was surely negligent. Of course, there might have been some notices to warn people to keep away from the edge where the deceased slipped into the gauge, but in my view, that is not enough to protect people from slipping and falling into the gauge. The department responsible owes a duty of care to all people who visit that place. It has to ensure that there are safeguards to prevent such a tragedy from occurring. From the story that we read here, it seems that the accident was occasioned by the slippery surface of the rocks at the edge of the gauge. A reasonable department of National Parks and wildlife manager responsible for managing the Vic Falls, must have foreseen the danger.

"Foreseeability" is the word to note in this case. That lack of foresight by the people responsible, made that person and others who have been victims there, to lose their lives. That is clear negligence by the people/department responsible. Clearly there is pending danger that is foreseeable by even a five year old child. Everyday when the workers of that department come to inspect that area, can't they see that there is danger there?.

Something is wrong with the guides that work there as well. They all need to be fired for failing to identify the dangerous spots that could resuIt in loss of lives. That place is a very busy place and as such, the public must be protected from any forms of danger in that area. So, the department responsible failed to prevent that danger from occurring. Of course, there was also contributory negligence by the deceased, because the deceased also took a risk by walking on the edge of the gauge of the river. That was also foreseeable to any reasonable person, that walking on the edge of the gauge, can result in someone slipping and falling into the gauge.

However, we cannot blame him fully, as we do not know what his state of mind was like at that unfortunate time. He could have been drunk. So that could have given him the courage to stand in that dangerous point. The person taking the pictures should also have told him to keep away from the edge, because from the picture in the story, it shows that the deceased was really taking a risk by walking right on the edge of the gauge. And for that matter he was putting on sandals. That made him susceptible from slipping in a wet surface.

Anyway, save for that, the department was 80% negligent, in this issue. So, in my view, there has to be compensation paid to the family of the deceased. Clearly that department was /is negligent. I am sure he is not the first person to have slipped and fallen into the gauge. Many lives could have been saved, had the responsible department erected some proper fence to protect the public from falling into the gauge.

Assuming there was an iron fence, the deceased could have been held by that fence upon slipping off, on a slippery rock. More importantly, the iron fence could have kept him away from the edge of the gauge. Assuming the iron fence was there and the deceased decided to climb over it, to stand on the edge of the gauge, we would not blame the department in that case. So, in this case, the department responsible is clearly on the wrong side. Please note that this involves lives. And the sanctity of life is something which we all must value by all means. So, protecting the public from all dangers in that tourist place, must be priority number one by the department responsible. May the soul of the deceased rest in peace. I feel pity for that woman who witnessed that incident. Surely that will haunt her for the rest of her life. She will suffer psychiatric injury or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, as she was closely linked to the deceased (affectionate love). So, she really needs some counselling. If it was in other jurisdictions, she was going to sue the department responsible for that, as she meets the test of claiming for that in this case. So, the media in our country has to ensure that it puts that department under pressure to erect those iron fences with immediate effect around all areas where the public stands to view the gauge.

l am glad that the Minister of Tourism acknowledges that there is obvious danger in that area where the deceased slipped and fell into the gauge. We do hope that some safeguard measures will be immediately put in place to avoid the loss of lives unnecessarily in future.


libertyatliberty at gmail dot com.


Source - Njabulo
All articles and letters published on Bulawayo24 have been independently written by members of Bulawayo24's community. The views of users published on Bulawayo24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bulawayo24. Bulawayo24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

Subscribe

Email: