Feelings of sadness and shock were deeply etched on the faces of Taiwan informal settlement residents in Khayelitsha after a raging fire killed a mother and her 4-year-old daughter on Friday April 24.
Thozama Mjinqiza, 33, and Kayone died inside a shack as the residents battled the blaze.
The residents said the fire quickly spread into the front area of the shack, making it impossible to rescue them. The fire started shortly after 11pm and completely destroyed their two-roomed shack.
Ms Mjinqiza leaves behind her 7-year-old son, Bryan.
The residents believe the fire may have been started by an unattended candle.
There was a sombre mood when Vukani arrived at the scene. Some residents had gathered in small groups as they battled to come to terms with what had happened, while others were busy clearing the debris.
Neighbour Nonyameko Mfincane said the residents would contribute whatever they could to help the family in burying Ms Mjinqiza and Kayone.
But she said this process would be difficult as they do not have the necessary identity documents.
Ms Mfincane said Ms Mjinqiza and Kayone deserve a dignified burial and she appealed to the greater Khayelitsha to assist in whatever way they could. “Every time I look at her son, my heart is filled with tears and emotions.
“I’m trying to put together the pieces of how the son will live on knowing that his mother and sibling died in a fire.
“I have no words to describe how I feel at this point. It feels like this is a film and things are going to change. It has not yet really sunk in that she is gone.”
Ms Mfincane said she weeps silently when she thinks about the son Ms Mjinqiza left behind.
She said she wished that God could have saved and protected them from the fire and let the shack burn because that could always be replaced but not a person. If she had super powers, she said she would have prevented this disaster but she is just another human being.
Ms Mfincane said as the community they were praying that a good Samaritan could step in to help with the burial.
She said the entire community is still reeling in shock as Ms Mjinqiza was peaceful person who had never had a fight in the area.
City of Cape Town fire and rescue services spokesperson, Jermaine Carelse, said two bodies were found in the debris of the shack following the overnight blaze.
He said the fire crew responded to the Taiwan informal settlement at 23.45pm and upon arrival, one informal structure was well alight and was extinguished just before 12.30am.
The area was cordoned off and handed over to the police for further investigation.