Residents of Alex rebuild their homes after a blaze destroyed over 500 shacks last week. It's understood the fire was deliberately started by a man after an argument with a resident. The man was later beaten to death. Itumeleng English African News Agency (ANA)
Alexandra residents continue to pick up the remaining pieces of their lives following last week's devastating fire that gutted 500 shacks and left them homeless.

Livid community members said the gang allegedly responsible for the fire remain untraceable.

Various organisations, such as Gift of the Givers and the Disaster Management Team, came on board to assist the aggrieved community.

Paseka Motsoeneng, popularly known as Prophet Mboro, also assisted with building materials and personally got his hands dirty when he helped reconstruct some of the collapsed shacks.

“We need counselling and a mobile clinic. My ARVs burnt in the shack, and I am sick," said one victim, who refused to be identified.

“You see us here and talking, and all appears normal, but we are far from fine. We are grateful for the help that we have received but we also need counselling."

According to Jewel Mabaso, who has resided at the settlement for almost a year, the fire was started by a gang who are infamous for carrying out robberies and petty crime in the area.

“These men started fighting with other people who stay in the area opposed to their criminal activities. After a fight broke out, one of the five men poured petrol on the shack and the fire spread.

"The community was able to chase and locate him to another section, where he was beaten and stoned to death,” he said.

Police have since confirmed that a man died due to mob justice.

The City of Joburg Disaster Management Team was on site yesterday, assisting the distraught families and residents.

Spokesperson Niel Rooi said: “We provide immediate relief of 72 hours. We have been stationed here since Friday and providing food, blankets and mattresses to the residents.

"We have also said on social media that if anyone wants to donate anything, they should do so in the form of building materials.”