Man dies in blaze allegedly set by lover

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Kimberley - A woman allegedly murdered her boyfriend early Monday morning after setting his shack alight. He burnt to death while sleeping in the shack.

Although the details of the incident are still sketchy, family members of Tshwaro Seekoei, 24, believe that his girlfriend is responsible for his death, claiming that “she tried it before”.

“She tried to kill my grandson before by setting the shack alight while he was inside. She failed, but today (Monday) she finally accomplished what she originally intended to do, which is to end my grandson’s life,” Seekoei’s grandmother, Anna Seekoei, said.

She said that minutes before her grandson’s shack went up in flames with him still inside, the woman they suspect was responsible for the incident, was seen asking for matches.

“The neighbours told us that this woman entered our yard just after 2am and went to the back where my grandson’s shack was. Shortly after that the shack was engulfed in flames and she was seen walking out of our yard. She killed my grandson,” Anna said before breaking down in tear.

Seekoei’s charred body was found lying on the sofa next to the window.

“It is obvious that he tried to escape through the window, but he was trapped because of the steel bars in front of the window,” she said. She added that they believe that the woman killed Seekoei because she refused to accept that their relationship was over.

“She was extremely possessive. She did not want to accept the fact that their relationship was over. He dumped her several years ago, but she refused to accept this. Perhaps she thought that, because they had a four-year-old child together, they were supposed to stay together. But he no longer loved her,” Anna said.

The child has been living with Anna.

“I took their child when he was just four months old. I do not know what else this woman wanted from my grandson because we were looking after her child when she deserted him at an early age . . . why did she not leave us alone,” Anna asked.

She pointed out that the woman’s jealousy reached a point when the family had to apply for a restraining order at the Galeshewe Magistrate’s Court to prevent her from entering their yard.

“During the previous incident, when the woman set the shack alight, we heard him calling for help and we could help him. In another incident she broke the windows of my house with stones,” Anna added.

She, however, could not provide a copy of the restraining order or a case number relating to the alleged incident.

“We were in court on January 15 but the woman (Seekoei’s former girlfriend) left the court without appearing. She verbally attacked me at court that day and told my family that we had brought her there for nonsense,” Anna added.

Referring to Monday’s incident, Anna explained that they had to use a hosepipe to extinguish the blaze.

“I was woken up by a bright light shining into my bedroom and I went to wake up one of the children. When we went outside we realised that the shack was burning. After we extinguished the flames we found Seekoei’s body on the sofa.”

“We knew it was him, but he was unrecognisable.”

She said that the last time she saw Seekoei alive was on Sunday evening when he came to the house and they chatted. “I did not know that we would lose him just a few hours later.”

The family of the woman accused of killing Seekoei refused to speak to the media on Monday.

However, the police in the Northern Cape have opened an inquest docket in relation to Seekoei’s death.

“The cause of the fire is unknown at this stage and no one has been arrested in connection with the incident,” police spokesman Lieutenant Donald Mdhluli said.

He appealed to members of the public who had information regarding this incident to contact the Kagisho Detectives on (053) 839 7900, Crime Stop on 0800 10111, or SMS 32211.

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