Help mom bury son killed in Siqalo shack fire

By Athandile Siyo Time of article published May 3, 2021

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Cape Town - The family of three-year-old Alunamda Mili, who died in a shack fire, is seeking assistance from the public for his funeral.

Alunamda died when a fire engulfed his family's informal structure in Siqalo in Philippi during the early hours of Friday. His mother, Bulelwa, said she was struggling to come to terms with his death. “I left home very early in the morning to go look for work, it was just after 4am, leaving behind Alunamda and my boyfriend who had spent the night.

“My boyfriend said he was going to leave shortly after I had left, and I had no problem with that because the child was still sleeping. He left and locked the child inside with a burning candle which he said he forgot to put out. When I came back home at 10am I was met with news of my son's death. Neighbours told me that my boyfriend came back just after 7am and said he forgot to put the candle out.”

Bulelwa said she was distraught and didn't know how she is going to move on. “I am not coping, I'm shattered. I feel like my heart has been ripped out of my chest. I am unemployed and I have lost everything. I am appealing to anyone who can assist with funeral arrangements to please help because I don't know how to move forward from here. I haven't eaten since the incident. Part of me hopes that this is all a nightmare and I am just holding on to that hope. I know it's false hope but it's all I have, literally.”

Fire and rescue spokesperson Jermaine Carelse said the fire services team was alerted to an informal settlement alight at 8.16am. “Crews from Mitchells Plain, Gugulethu and Ottery were dispatched to the settlement, just off Jakes Gerwel Drive, and were able to quickly contain and extinguish the blaze by 9.38am. Firefighters discovered the body of a boy in one of the structures.”

Spokesperson FC van Wyk said: “An inquest case was registered for investigation after a male child died in a fire in Siqalo informal settlement, Philippi, on Friday. The investigation continues.”

Anyone who can assist Bulelwa Mili with Alunamda's funeral or essential items can contact her on 073 686 3527.

[email protected]

Cape Times

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