Woman sets shack on fire

2009-08-17 00:00

A FAMILY in Shortts Retreat near Mkondeni say that they are thanking their lucky stars that they are still alive after an allegedly drunk woman, who accused one of them of having an affair with her boyfriend, set their shack alight in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Smangele Zungu, who was in the shack with her two-year-old son when the fire started, said she couldn’t save anything except her son. “I don’t know what made me wake up, but when I did the whole house was full of smoke. I ran and alerted everyone, but it took less than an hour for other shacks to be affected,” she said.

About seven shacks were damaged. They were all built in the same area and belonged to other family members.

Maria Bhembe, one of the neighbours, alleged that the woman who is accused of setting the shacks alight had been planning it for some time.

“She told me that Sizakele Latha was having an affair with her boyfriend and she was going to burn her inside the shack. At first I thought she was joking, until it actually happened,” she said.

Bhembe also said that they were also scared for the safety of their shacks and that she was glad they were not affected.

Latha said it frustrates her when she thinks that she is to blame for everything. “What am I going to do? I wasn’t even having an affair with her boyfriend,” she said.

The family has built a temporary shack to live in.

Police spokesman Senior Superintendent Henry Budhram confirmed that a case of arson has been opened. “A woman in her 30s was arrested and will be appearing in court [today],” he said.

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