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Fired construction worker returns to Atteridgeville site and allegedly started fire which killed his two colleagues

Fire engines extinguishing a fire

Moloko Calvin Ramogwadi was charged with murder and attempted murder after he allegedly started a fire which killed two workers and injured three others after he was fired at a construction site. File Picture: Barry Bateman

Published Aug 28, 2023


The Atteridgeville Magistrate’s Court has remanded 34-year-old Moloko Calvin Ramogwadi in custody after he was arrested for allegedly starting a fire which killed his two co-workers.

Ramogwadi is facing two counts of murder, and three counts of attempted murder.

“Ramogwadi was hired by a company to build extra classrooms at Zodwa Special School. However, on August 22, he was fired from the company,” Gauteng regional spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Lumka Mahanjana said.

It is alleged that on Wednesday, Ramogwadi rocked up at the construction site. When his former co-workers asked what he was doing at the site, Ramogwadi allegedly said he had come to collect his tools.

“It is further alleged that Ramogwadi proceeded to open gas tanks, while the other workers were still on site and a fire broke out,” said Mahanjana.

Two workers at the site died on the scene and three others were taken to hospital as a result of the inferno.

Ramogwadi was arrested on the same day of the incident and has been kept behind bars.

“After his brief appearance in court, the matter was postponed to September 1, for investigations in respect to bail and possible bail application,” said Mahanjana.

In an unrelated incident, police in Tshwane have arrested two mothers who are siblings, after they locked up their five children and went to a local tavern near Laudium. A fire later broke out and killed the five unattended children.

The five children, including a one-year-old girl, died in the inferno which destroyed at least six shacks in Itireleng informal settlement near Laudium in Tshwane in the early hours of Sunday.

The horrific incident was reported at approximately 4.30am on Sunday.

“Firefighters arrived on the scene to find multiple shacks engulfed by fire and immediately started with firefighting operations,” spokesperson for the Tshwane emergency services department, Thabo Charles Mabaso, said.

“Five remains of children burnt beyond recognition were discovered in the ruins of the shacks after the fire was extinguished,” he said.

The five children were three boys, aged two, four, and six, and two girls, aged one and seven years.