Minister visits Free State fire victims

2014-09-20 16:04
Senzeni Zokwana (City Press)

Senzeni Zokwana (City Press)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Senzeni Zokwana visited a Harrismith woman who lost her husband and son in a veldfire, the department said on Saturday.

Johann Mocke and 15-year-old Zander Mocke died in the fire, said spokesperson Palesa Mokomele.

The minister on Friday, assessed the damage caused by the fire.

"Thirty-four thousand hectares of grazing land were razed to the ground, 1 000 sheep and 350 herd of cattle also died," Mokomele said.

Eight farmhouses and other infrastructure were also destroyed.

Khela Mokoena also died and three other people were hospitalised, one person was in a critical condition.

The cause of the fire was unknown, but had been extinguished.

During his visit, Zokwana was briefed by the MEC of agriculture and rural development, Mamiki Qabethe, the police and various other safety and disaster service representatives.

"Going to Harrismith to witness the devastation first hand, and meeting the family of the father and son who died, was extremely touching," Zokwana said in a statement.

"We conveyed a message of support to Mrs Melonie Mocke who is clearly devastated by her enormous loss. Getting additional, trained fire-fighting personnel will greatly assist us in preventing damages of this extent. We also greatly require more fire-fighting equipment to improve our capacity."

Zokwana said the department would provide immediate assistance to the workers and farmers who had lost their livelihoods and homes in the form of counselling, fodder for livestock, fence repairs and medication for animals.

Read more on:    senzeni zokwana  |  bloemfontein  |  fire

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Financial advisors – Do you need one and should you get one?

The good, the bad, and everything else you need to know when considering hiring a financial advisor.


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.