RUINS: The remains of the burnt dwelling where Zaytoon, 8 months, and Zaynoora, 2, died in Colorado Park, in Mitchells Plain. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)
Two children burnt to death in their father’s backyard dwelling in Colorado Park, Mitchells Plain, yesterday.

The father of Zaytoon, 8 months, and Zaynoora, 2, both girls, was arrested in connection with their deaths. Their grandfather, Herald Adams, 65, described how the fire started.

“My son Cameroon Adams, father of the two girls, who has a drug and alcohol problem, was knocking on our door very early in the morning. We did not open, until he forced his way inside ,” said Adams.

“He was asking for money that we don’t have, until he went back to his backyard shack, where there were two children and his girlfriend. We thought he went to sleep, until we were woken by the blazing fire and the blast of a skull. We tried to fight the fire but it was too late for the girls.”

Adams said that his son was now in jail, and the mother of the children, Tasmeena Brandt, was nowhere to be found.

Police spokesperson Captain FC van Wyk said they had arrested a 30-year-old man in connection with the fire.

“A case of child neglect was registered for investigation,” said Van Wyk

Sherron Mavanzilla, the children’s aunt, described them as “ very smart kids, loving, innocent, they were always jovial. I called them happy kids,” she said

Theo Layne of the City of Cape Town’s fire and rescue department said emergency services responded at 3.22am to Flamingo Crescent, Colorado Park, where they found the bodies of the girls.

The City of Cape Town’s Disaster Management’s Charlotte Powell said a team was on site yesterday to assess the damage.