Pretoria – The mother of a 3-year-old girl who died when a fire engulfed her Mpumalanga shack faces charges of child neglect and culpable homicide.
The incident happened at Siyathuthuka township in Belfast on Monday night, after the mother had left her three children alone in the shack, said police spokesperson Colonel Donald Mdhluli.
“Reports indicate that the victim and her siblings, aged seven and nine years old, were left alone by their mother in the shack where they stay. When she returned from where she was, she found the shack engulfed in flames and immediately called for help,” he said.
“The other two children managed to escape the fire unharmed, except the three year old. A case of culpable homicide was opened against the woman, with an additional charge of child neglect.”
In a similar incident in the province, two girls aged seven and eight were burnt to death in a house fire in Masoyi on Friday after also being left on their own.
“According to information at police disposal... the two children, who are said to be cousins, were asleep in the house whilst their parents were away.
’’Their uncle was visiting neighbours at the time and it is said that he was notified by one of the neighbours that a spotlight at the house where the children were asleep was off,” said Mdhluli.
“He then went to investigate and, on his arrival, he realised that the bedroom where the girls were was on fire. He reportedly called other neighbours to assist (in extinguishing) the fire. However, the flames were too intense and the girls perished in the fire.”
An inquest case is currently under way and Mdhluli said a charge of child neglect would be added.
In another incident, a 23-year-old woman was recently arrested in Bushbuckridge for child neglect after she allegedly left her three children, aged four and five, as well as a nine-month-old baby unattended.
According to police, her family opened a missing person report with the police and after a search she was found at a tavern last Friday.
African News Agency (ANA)