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Mothers arrested in Tshwane after their five children perished in shack fire while they were at tavern

Photo of a fire

Two women who are sisters were arrested after their five children died in a shack fire while the mothers were at a local tavern near Laudium. File Photo

Published Aug 28, 2023


Five children, including a one-year-old girl, died in an 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.”

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

“It is alleged that the two sisters left the children in one shack overnight and went out to drink at a nearby tavern. At the time of releasing the statement, the sisters were under police arrest and taken to a local police station for questioning,” said Mabaso.

He said the circumstances surrounding the cause of the fire are still under investigation.

“We call upon parents and caregivers to ensure that children are always left under the care of an adult and in a safe environment,” said Mabaso.

Last month, four people died in two separate shack fire incidents in Johannesburg.

Spokesperson for City of Johannesburg emergency medical services (EMS) Robert Mulaudzi said the first fire was reported in Orange Farm where a man lost his life when his back room shack caught fire.

Mulaudzi said the second fire claimed the lives of a family of three, two adults and one child, when their five-bedroom shack caught fire in Matholesville, Roodepoort.

“In both fire incidents no other injuries were reported and the cause of the fire incidents still a subject of investigations,” he said.