Insure your car, home and valuables with iWYZE
Three young children burned to death in their small home in Zola, Soweto, on Wednesday morning after their father reportedly set their house alight in a family murder and attempted suicide.
Their parents were taken to Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, both of them having survived the incident despite serious burns. Several neighbours confirmed that the children’s parents had been engaged in a massive argument, yelling so loudly that the details of their dispute could be heard by people in the area.
The children’s mom had seemingly given food to the father’s estranged brother. In an apparent drunken rage, the man attacked her, believing she was having an affair.
A group of neighbours responded to the screams, knocking on his door and telling him to calm down. It took almost half an hour, but eventually the man appeared to settle down and the neighbours returned home.
People at the scene said the 31-year-old man left the house soon after, and returned before 1am.
He reportedly bought a can of petrol which he allegedly used to douse his children, their mom and himself. He had locked the door with a large, steel padlock from the inside before lighting a match, causing the petrol to catch fire. All three boys, aged three, eight and 10, died in the blaze.
Neighbours were awoken by the screams.
The property landlord and a group of concerned residents tried to break down the door to the burning home. They eventually got inside and dragged the couple out.
But it was too late to save the children, whose bodies were burnt beyond recognition.
According to Johannesburg Emergency Services spokes-man, Robert Mulaudzi, both parents were taken to Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital.
Close to tears, the man’s sister said her brother had a history of abusing his partner of 10 years.
Jabulani police spokesman, Kay Makhubela, said if the man survived he’d be charged with murder and attempted murder.