Last three fire victims buried

2010-02-27 00:00

THE last three of the eight children who died in the fire that gutted an orphanage in Newcastle were buried yesterday.

Sinenhlanhla Masondo, Siyabonga Mbuli and Mbali Msibi are among those who burnt to death early this month when the Hope in Christ orphanage caught fire, killing Sara Holland, who ran the home, her son, Nick Pienaar, his three children, another adult and five other children.

KwaZulu-Natal government dignitaries, including Premier Zweli Mkhize and Newcastle Mayor Afzul Rehman attended the funeral.

In his address, Mkhize said the tragic death of the children and the Holland family is a story that has “filled our hearts with anguish and deep pain”.

“We were saddened to learn of the death of Mrs Holland and her family members while trying to save the children entrusted to her care.

“We received reports of how she repeatedly went inside the rooms engulfed in flames, saving babies by throwing them out of the windows to safety.

“We heard how she died trying to shield others with her body, only to succumb with them as they were overpowered by smoke and flames,” Mkhize said.

He said this is a story of unbelievable love and human kindness — a lesson for all to ponder and salute Holland’s heroic and courageous action and her selfless effort in sacrificing her life so that others may live.

The KZN government is committed to work ing with other willing donors to rebuild the Hope in Christ Home so that Holland’s memory and the memory of those that perished with her shall remain an inspiration to all, Mkhize added.

Rehman said the phenomenon of child-headed households and abandoned children is a social plague in the country.

He appealed to communities to make sure that every child has a place to stay and a plate of food to eat.

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