‘Lover torches crèche’

2015-07-30 06:00
Zanele Jaca, 53, the owner of Siqalo Educare, is angry after her crèche and house were allegedly burnt down by her boyfriend who is now on the run, in Lower Crossroads, on Saturday.

Mbongiseni MASEKO

Zanele Jaca, 53, the owner of Siqalo Educare, is angry after her crèche and house were allegedly burnt down by her boyfriend who is now on the run, in Lower Crossroads, on Saturday. PHOTO: Mbongiseni MASEKO

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As Woman’s Month approaches, a Crossroads woman who lost everything in a fire she alleges was caused by her live-in-lover, has spoken for the first time of her dilemma at the hands of a man she says is possessive, jealous and a raging bully.

His act of mindless jealousy has now left a number of children stranded and the owner of their educare centre without an income after the crèche was set on fire on Saturday evening, allegedly by the boyfriend.

Zanele Jaca, 53, owner of Siqalo Educare in Crossroads is still at a loss for words after returning from a funeral in Langa to a very furious lover, who then set the crèche, their bedroom, kitchen and living room on fire.

Jaca said she suspected her day was going to be spoiled after the beau called her non-stop on her phone while she was at the funeral of a relative in Langa.

“He started using foul language, and sent me derogatory messages.”

Returning home in a lift seemed to exacerbate the his fury.

“As I was being dropped off in front of my house, he became so enraged that he became violent and threatened to burn the house to the ground.”

Jaca said although she is on chronic medication, to save her life, she jumped out of her bedroom window, because the man “really meant business”.

She said she then watched in horror as the man took a sleeping sponge, dub it in paraffin, set it alight and throw it in her bedroom.

“It was all planned,” she said.

“He does not smoke, but had a match in his hand that day,” she added. The fire spread to other rooms and she lost everything. “Everything is gone, including the furniture in the crèche.” Fortunately, no one was harmed. The house and crèche are now a pile of rubble with neither electricity nor water connections. Jaca claimed that what the man did was the culmination of almost a decade of unhappiness and abuse at the hands of the man. “For too long I have protected him.” Jaca revealed a litany of abuse of a person she described as also being possessive and who could not stand her absence from his sight. “This was the first time that I had been anywhere else without him in company, in eight years. He is a very jealous man. I was not even allowed to socialise with other people.” “This is also the first time that I am opening up about the abuse I have endured under him... I was not happy, but I kept quiet,” Jaca revealed.

“I am now appealing to Good Samaritans to help me re-build, because I cannot do without the crèche...it is my passion and livelihood,” she added. Lieutenant Bheki Xulu, of Philippi-East SAPS Corporate Communication, said the police were investigating a case of arson and that the suspect is still at large. Margaret Hewu, 53, Jaca’s neighbour, said they were caught by surprise by the boyfriend’s behaviour. V

Jaca is available at: 074 625 2979

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