This 12-year-old girl escaped a fiery death after ruthless gangsters petrol-bombed her home – with her trapped inside – and her dad’s car.
Little Faith Lots is lucky to be alive after neighbours heard her screams for help and hauled her out of the burning house.
Yesterday MEC for Community Safety Dan Plato visited the family’s home in Arendhof Street, Wesbank, calling on witnesses to assist police in catching the bombers.
Witnesses say a “pak skollies”, some younger than 15, arrived at the house on Sunday morning, pelting the windows with stones, before setting the house and vehicle alight with petrol bombs.
It’s believed the gang numbered about 13.
Elizabeth Lots, 41, who had been at church at the time, says her family “has been terrorised for years” by members of the 28s gang after her brother, Niklaas Manuel, was killed.
“They have been terrorising us since my brother died, he was shot in front of his home here in Wesbank nearly three years ago,” she says.
“In March and April this year, they fired shots at my house. They are sending messages that we are sending the Americans after them, but we are not part of a gang. My brother may have been something in prison, we do not know, but that was the past.
“When I was at church on Sunday, they came and told me my house was burning.”
Elizabeth left her daughter, Faith, sleeping in the house because she had the flu.
Faith says she was terrified after being waken up by a lawaai.
“I could hear something being thrown against the house and the roof and I ran to the cupboard and hid inside. I was so scared they were going to come inside the house and that I couldn’t get out. They were shouting ‘the Americans’.”
Neighbour Cecilia Williams, 46, says they heard Faith’s frantic cries for help.
“She was banging and pulling on the burglar bars to get out. We broke open the window and pulled her out,” she says.
Faith’s dad Deon Lots, 37, rushed home from the Northern Cape where he works.
“We do not know why this is happening. This is the fourth attack on our home,” he says.
Deon told Plato that police told his wife that he “had to come all the way from the Northern Cape” to lay a charge.
An outraged Plato is calling on police to arrest the culprits whose names are known to him.
“These are the common troublemakers’ names we keep hearing,” he says.
“They are untouchable. The police need to start profiling them and arrest them. It is the police’s reaction which is so weak.”
Police say they were aware of the matter but couldn’t investigate because Deon and Elizabeth didn’t want their involvement.
“This office is aware of such an incident, however the complainant has declined a police investigation,” says Lieutenant Colonel Andrè Traut.