Cape Town - A young Manenberg mother-of-two will be scarred for life after a jealous ex allegedly tried to burn her alive during the early hours of Wednesday morning.
Bronwen Saban, 23, sustained third-degree burn wounds to her face, arms and chest after the Wendy house was doused in petrol, the door to the property was blocked, and then set alight.
She had to have emergency surgery and will be transferred to the Tygerberg Hospital Burns Unit on Thursday.
The Wendy house Bronwen, her boyfriend and his parents were living in was burned to the ground, along with all their belongings.
Parents Patricia Johnson, 50, and Isaac Hendricks, 47, say they’ve been living in the Wendy house in Storms River Road for the past seven years.
“It was just before 2am and I stepped out of the [main] house. Something told me to turn back and I saw the smoke coming [from the Wendy house],” explains Patricia.
“I shouted for help as I could not get the door open.”
According to witnesses, the jealous ex-boyfriend made trouble at the house on Tuesday, running around with a long knife and allegedly vowing he would burn the house down.
He then took the one-year-old child he fathered with Bronwen away with him.
“He came here the afternoon with a long knife. He hit Bronwen on the mouth, she was bleeding. He said he is going to burn the place down,” said a witness, who doesn’t want to be named.
A heartbroken Isaac says the man wanted them dead.
“We struggled to open the door because he placed a large rock behind it. He threw petrol on the roof and set it alight with a match. It burnt in seconds. We lost everything,” Isaac says.
Patricia says Bronwen’s wounds are so bad, she cannot even speak.
“She is such a beautiful person. Her lips are burnt closed, her eyes are almost popping out.
“I went to see her and she tried communicating by moving her shoulders, but I could not understand her,” Patricia says.
The family says they are now waiting for police to arrest the suspect, who is allegedly an Americans gang member.
Police spokesman Wesley Twigg confirmed a case of arson is being investigated by Manenberg SAPS.
“No arrests have been made,” Twigg said.