Pregnant mom and children die in fire

Family spokesperson, Neliswa Magwala, who is the cousin of the deceased, wept silently as she detailed how the fire killed her family.

The Myataza family in Town Two is reeling in shock, after a raging fire killed a pregnant Thwayisa Myataza, 36, as well as her three children, in the early hours of Tuesday May 21.

The fire took the lives of Linamandla, 3, Lindokuhle,5, and Nandile, 14, while their uncle Thobile Maqungu, 41, managed to escape, and has been admitted at hospital with severe burns.

The family claims that the fire occurred approximately at 4.30am, when their electrical meter box exploded.

They told Vukani that the fire quickly spread inside the house, and made it extremely difficult for them to escape.

When Vukani arrived at the scene just a few hours after the incident, relatives, friends and neighbours had gathered at the house. Sadness and sorrow were deeply-etched on their faces, and everyone was battling to contain their emotions.

Family spokesperson, Neliswa Magwala, who is the cousin of the deceased, said it was not the first time that the electrical meter box had exploded.

She said the family had enquired from Eskom what was the cause of this, but their questions were never answered­-instead the workers would just fix it and leave.

Ms Magwala said towards the end of last month the box had exploded, and Eskom was alerted and they came and fixed it. She said when the box exploded the previous time, it was fortunate that it had occurred during the day, and they were able to douse the fire before it could do any harm and damage.

Ms Magwala said the incident had left the family traumatised, and they have no idea how the family would bury them. She said her cousin Thwayisa was three months pregnant when she died.

She said what hurt the most was the fact that none of these people were working, and were solely dependent on the children’s social grant. She said they hadn’t the slightest idea how the family would rebuild the house, which has been completely destroyed.

Ms Magwala said she does not even know where Thobile would live, when he comes back from hospital.

“We have lost innocent souls, and the entire family is grieving. No one is working, and we don’t have the slightest idea how we’re going to bury them.

“We are sad and hurt, and have no words to describe the pain that we are feeling.

“We have lost four of our relatives; how does one move from this tragedy? How did God let this happen?

“There is nothing that could heal our wounds, I mean nothing. How am I suppose to continue to live after this. How does one begin to heal? Losing one person is bad but losing the entire family is worse. To me, it feels like life has just stopped,” she said.

Ms Magwala said the family was appealing for help to anyone who might assist the family to bury their loved ones. Cape Town fire and rescue services spokesperson, Jermaine Carelse, said that at 4.50am, the City’s Fire and Rescue Service received a call of a formal dwelling alight, in Hlomela Street, Town 2, Khayelitsha.

“Three fire-fighting appliances, a rescue vehicle and 14 staff members were dispatched to the incident,” Mr Carelse said.

“The fire was extinguished at 5.20am. One adult female, two female minors and one male minor passed away as a result of smoke inhalation.

“One adult male sustained burn wounds and was transported to hospital.”

The cause of the fire was not immediately known.