Durban - on Tuesday, a two-year-old toddler was killed in her grandfather’s uMlazi shack when the dwelling caught alight.
A seven-year-old boy is believed to have started the fire while playing with matches.
The boy confessed to this after the incident, the grandfather, Jeffery Ntombela, said.
The toddler, Andiswa Magwaza, died in the bedroom of the mud dwelling while the boy escaped physically unharmed, the family said.
Andiswa’s mother was at work when the incident happened The children had been left in the care of a neighbour, Julia Mkhize, 60.
The children allegedly sneaked out and made their way into the home while Mkhize was doing laundry.
Mkhize was baffled as to how the children could have gained entry to the shack because she had left the house keys on top of her wall unit, out of the boy’s reach.
But she suspects that he had climbed on top of the wall unit for the keys.
“When I came out to check where the kids were, I realised they had disappeared.
“Just as I was starting to worry, I heard someone screaming outside, calling me, shouting ‘fire’,” she said.
When she went to the shack the fire was raging, and she realised there was nothing she could do to stop it.
The fire department was called.
Khumbulani Ngidi, the father of the toddler, said he had last seen his daughter on Sunday when she had visited him.
The distraught Ngidi, who could not put together a sentence without breaking into tears, said he would miss his baby whom he called “Ndiwa”.
He told the Daily News that he had received a phone call informing him of the incident. He rushed to the scene from his uMlazi T-Section home.
He had just finished cooking and was about to prepare for work.
Ngidi said Andiswa was the youngest of his four children.
After the incident, Ntombela was seen shouting at the boy. Ntombela, who was not present when the fire broke out, said he was disappointed that none of the neighbours was able to help.
“I cannot even imagine her crying in that fire, her small voice crying for help could not be heard by anyone,” he said.
“If it was a matter of the dwelling burning down to the ground and the life of this precious life being spared, it would have been better,” he said.
Claudia Mnyandu, Ward 77 councillor, said she would help the family with building material to build a new home. - Daily News
*** The family has appealed for help.
Anyone who would like to help can contact Nokuthula Cele at 082 042 3590.