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Family devastated after 7 die in KZN South Coast fire

A KwaZulu-Natal South Coast family have been left devastated by the deaths of seven relatives in a fire at the weekend.

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Published Jun 28, 2022


Durban - A KwaZulu-Natal South Coast family have been left devastated by the deaths of seven relatives in a fire at the weekend.

While five deaths were initially reported as a result of Saturday’s house fire in KwaNhlalwane in Umzumbe Local Municipality on the South Coast.

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The family of the victims confirmed yesterday that two others, a mother and her child, had also died in hospital.

In total, two women and five children including a 2-week old infant died due to injuries sustained in the fire.

Yesterday, family spokesperson Nhlanhla Mthembu said that on Saturday the family held a traditional ceremony and while the family was cleaning up after the ceremony at around 8pm, a “light” was seen on the roof of the home, which became engulfed by flames.

Three bodies were removed from the house on Saturday; other victims were rushed to a clinic to be treated for smoke inhalation and burn wounds before being transported to hospital where they later died.

Mthembu said the cause of the devastating fire had not been established.

He said the family had been left traumatised by the incident and were appealing for assistance with funeral preparations and with counselling.

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Premier Sihle Zikalala also conveyed his condolences to the family.

“The provincial government is disheartened by the incident and we extend condolences to the family and also to the community traumatised by the incident,” said Zikalala.

The mayor of Umzumbe Local Municipality, Bongani Nyuswa, said the municipality was shattered by the news of the death of the seven family members, and they would be offering assistance to the Mthembu family.

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Nyuswa said the municipality would also fix the damaged road leading to the Mthembu homestead ahead of the funeral. “We urge the religious leaders to pray for the family as they come to terms with the tragedy,” he said.

KZN MEC for Social Development, Nonhlanhla Khoza, also conveyed her condolences to the Mthembu family. “No words can comfort them as they are going through such a tough time.”

MEC Khoza said the department will dispatch social workers to help the distressed neighbours and family members. “All these people need psycho-social support and we will help them to gain their strength again.”

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She lauded neighbours for risking their lives in an attempt to save the victims. “We are thankful to those who came to assist in dousing the fire. Our hearts go out to the family.”