Community opens its heart after fire

2015-06-24 06:00
FIRST RELIEF: The victim in an arson case, Matuka Khanye (left), who lost everything after her house had been burned down, received a worthy donation of warm blankets courtesy of the Jabula Wholesalers Group Welkom. Representatives of the donor are f

FIRST RELIEF: The victim in an arson case, Matuka Khanye (left), who lost everything after her house had been burned down, received a worthy donation of warm blankets courtesy of the Jabula Wholesalers Group Welkom. Representatives of the donor are f

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WHILE the public rally support to provide relief to the Khanye family in rebuilding their lives after an incident of arson, the situation is still dire for the family of eight.

They have been subjected to living in unbearable conditions – having no clothes, furniture or food and living in a shack after a devastating fire destroyed their house at the end of May.

The fire was allegedly started by the 29-year-old Sibusiso Willi, the boyfriend of the elder daughter of the house owner, Matuka Khanye.

Willi allegedly went on a rampage, breaking the windows of the house and then setting the building alight. He did the same with the fully-equipped mobile caravan through which Khanye had been making a living by running a catering business.

The caravan was burned beyond recognition while the house was reduced to a charred frame.

Khanye said the complete destruction of the caravan had paralysed her family’s life, adding she had nothing to start anew with to rebuild their life.

The distraught woman said the caravan had been the only means of generating an income to provide for her seven dependants, including a two-month old baby. The baby boy apparently is the son of the suspect, Willi, who is on trial on a charge of arson. He is set to re-appear in the Welkom Magistrate’s Court this week.

Much-needed donations received to aid the family in rebuilding their lives include blankets from Jabula Wholesalers, food parcels and clothes from community entities and government social services.

Among highly sought-after donations, Khanye desperately appealed for assistance in building material that included window panes, roofing material, two doors and paint. Khanye said such donations and assistance in fixing the house would bring big relief in her dire situation.

“I appreciate support in the donation of essentials and prayers from churches and concerned members of society.

The shack we are currently staying in is not conducive to habitation, hence I’m pleading for help in the form of building material with which to rebuild the house,” Khanye said.

She said she was unable to determine the costs of the damages, because everything she had – even identity documents – had been destroyed in the fire.

Sgt Mamello Mokhuoane, Thabong police spokesperson, said the suspect had reportedly been armed with a sword on the ill-fated night of the arson attack.

She said a case of arson was under investigation.

The Thabong Social Crime Prevention Unit was also coordinating relief towards the family.

People willing to help can make donations at the Thabong Police Station. They can also phone the station on 057-910-2300 or Lt.Col. Moleleki Matsabu on 071-671-6288 during office hours

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