Six killed in shack blaze

Six killed in shack blaze

RUINS: Home in Phando Street, Wallacedene. CREDIT: Solly Lottering

Relatives puzzled after two kids and four women perish in flames.

Mystery surrounds the death of six people who perished in a fire in Kraaifontein.

The two women and four kids died after they apparently became trapped in a shack which had caught fire in Phando Street, Wallacedene, late on Thursday night.

Ouma Eunice Mankayi who is mourning the loss of her daughter and five grandchildren is now also struggling to figure out how to afford their funerals.

Thenjiwe Mankayi, 51, and her children Akhanya, 9, Melane, 3, Lema, 8, and Bongiwe Mankayi, 25, as well as Sivuyile Mkhizwane, 8, were all killed.

The children were pronounced dead at the scene and Thenjiwe was rushed to Tygerberg Hospital with severe burns to her entire body. She passed away several hours later.

Relative Jan Malgas, 58, says they are not trying to work out how the fire started, and why none of the victims cried out of help.

“Melani cried to come stay over with the family in Wallacedene, they brought her from Khayelitsha, now she is also dead,” he says sadly.

“What seems funny to me is why none of the other shacks burnt, only this one. Bongiwe was found burnt out, sitting in a chair. People are saying they didn’t hear any cries for help. How is this possible?”

Eunice says her family members would be buried in their home town of Mount Fletcher in the Eastern Cape.

All that remained of her daughter’s home were charred wooden beams, blackened corrugated iron sheets, the skeleton of a mattress on bricks, and burnt household items.

The ouma said it would cost up to R50 000 for the funeral, with the majority of the money going towards transporting the victims’ bodies back home to Mount Fletcher, located 1 200km from Cape Town, near the border with Lesotho.

Captain FC van Wyk says: “The exact cause of the fire is being investigated but no crime is suspected. Nobody was arrested. An inquest case was opened for investigation.”

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