The Mogadile family mourns the death of Abigail after she succumbed to her injuries while her 18-year-old son is still fighting for his life. Picture: Soraya Crowie /African News Agency (ANA)

Kimberley - A Galashewe father of five is believed to be on the run after a house fire claimed the life of his wife and left three children badly burnt.

The fire broke out at their home in Promised Land early on Thursday morning.

The mother of the children, Abigail Mogadile, 43, succumbed to her injuries in Kimberley’s Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe Hospital on Thursday afternoon and the family gathered at the home of her relatives after hearing the news of her death.

Three of the five children were injured in the fire, including 18-year-old Tshepo who is in a critical condition and fighting for his life in hospital, while seven-year-old Tshepiso sustained burn wounds on her body and is still being treated in hospital.

Fourteen-year-old Nthabeleng was discharged on Thursday from hospital. She also sustained burn injuries to her back and had bandages wrapped around her arm, while blisters were clearly visible on her body.

The couple’s three-year-old child, Kutlwano, was not injured and family members indicated on Thursday that the child was apparently left in front of the blazing house by the father before he left the scene.

Distraught family members said on Thursday that the couple had been together for almost 30 years and had an older child in his mid-20s who did not reside with the family.

“We haven’t got words to explain what has happened here today. It is very traumatic for all of us,” family members who spoke to the DFA said.

“We are hoping that the person responsible will hand himself over to the police.”

The suspect’s family, who went to show support for the family of the deceased, also called on him to do the right thing and “hand himself over”.

“We are ashamed of what has happened here. It is very traumatic and painful, especially since they have so many children together. What will happen to these children now? Justice must take its course,” they said.

Police spokesperson, Captain Bashaobile Kale, on Thursday confirmed the incident.

“Kagisho police are investigating a case of murder, three counts of attempted murder and a case of arson after a 44-year-old man allegedly set his family alight on Thursday, December 13, 2018.

“It is alleged that the suspect was accusing his wife of infidelity and that his children, aged 18, 14 and seven, were aware of the relationship and were hiding it from him. The woman was fatally wounded while the 18-year-old is in a critical condition in Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe Hospital. The 14-year-old has been discharged from hospital. The suspect fled the scene.

“A manhunt has been activated as the man is on the run. Anyone who has any information on the whereabouts of the suspect can contact Warrant Officer Shuping of the Kagisho police. The investigation continues,” said Kale.

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