An 84-year-old woman and her two great-grandsons, aged 8 and 13, were found on Saturday morning burnt near to each other. It’s assumed that the fire might have started due to a candle.
Niniza Sibiya and her grandchildren, Ntwenhle and Alwande, died in a fire in KwaMjiza Nongoma, Northern KwaZulu-Natal.
Jeremiah Sibiya, the woman’s son who sleeps in a separated homestead on the property, says that he noticed that his mother’s door was still locked when he woke up.
He says he knocked, but there was no response, there was a burnt smell, so he decided to check, he broke a glass window and found his mother lying on the floor.
Sibiya says he didn’t hear anything through the night due to the heavy winds in the area.
“The sad part is that I did not even hear them screaming for help. Everything got burnt,” he said. Jeremiah Sibisi, as well as the rest of the family, are left traumatized.
“I can never erase such an image from my mind,” says Sibisi.
Captain Nqobile Gwala has confirmed the event and said the Nongoma SAPS had opened inquest dockets.
No foul play is assumed, and the occurrence and its circumstances are under investigation.
Nonhlanhla Khoza, KZN Social Development MEC, has described the incident as horrible and painful and says that a social work team has been dispatched to provide psycho-social support to the family members.
Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs has dispatched his disaster management team department to assist the family.