Following the horrific deaths of five young children in a shack fire in the Itireleng informal settlement near Laudium on Sunday, two women have been charged.
The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said the women, Lindiwe Machaka, 39, and 37-year-old Zanele Machaka, appeared in the Atteridgeville Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.
Lumka Mahanjana said the women were charged with five counts of culpable homicide, for the death of the five children who were aged between one-year-old and six-years-old.
According to Mahanjana, Lindiwe is the grandmother to two of the children, aged one and two, while Zanele is the mother to the rest of the three children.
"It is alleged that on the evening of August 27, 2023, the two women locked the five children inside their shack and went to a nearby tavern.
"It is further alleged that, while the two women were still out, the shack caught fire and all the children burnt and died on the scene."
The NPA said the two women were arrested at the tavern that day.
She said they appeared briefly in court and were remanded in custody.
The matter was adjourned to September 5 for a formal bail application.
Thabo Charles Mabaso, spokesperson for the Tshwane emergency services department said: "Firefighters arrived on the scene to find multiple shacks engulfed by fire and immediately started with firefighting operations.
"Five remains of children burnt beyond recognition were discovered in the ruins of the shacks after the fire was extinguished."