Mayor, businesses help in burial

2015-06-11 06:01
The coffins containing the remains of the four children who after their parent’s shack caught fire.

The coffins containing the remains of the four children who after their parent’s shack caught fire.

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The four children who burnt to death when the family shack-in which they were temporarily left by their aunt-caught fire were laid to rest in the Khayelitsha cemetery on Saturday.

Councillor Mthwalo Mkutswana, of Ward 97, took it upon himself to go all out to look for help after he was approached by the members of the family for assistance.

He wrote letters to the mayor’s office, Patricia de Lille, pleading for contributions in their burial.

The mayor’s office donated R5000 for each child, bring the total contributions to R20 000.

Mkutswana, who also heads Sanco in the area, also approached Khayelitsha Spar and Shoprite Supermarkets which also contributed with catering for the day.

Local taxi industry owners also contributed by providing transportation for the family and mourners.

“The family approached me for help and as this is my constituency, did what I had to do.

Their situation was very bad, and because we do not have a budget for burying people, it was imperative to ask the mayor’s office for help.

The children were left alone, and in the care of the older one of them, whilst Zukiswa Vellem, a mother to two of the victims and aunt to the others, left for a while to attend a church service.

On her return, she was devastated to find them all consumed by fire.

‘According to reports, two of the kids had been asleep, and the others were watching television.

Their charred remains were found huddled near the entrance of the house, in apparent bid to escape the fire.

Azizipho Vellem, 12 months, Ntombizanele Vellem, 3, and their cousins Olwabo Vellem, also 12 months, and Ayakha Vellem, 6, all perished in the fire.

The incident took place in Site B.

Lunga Vellem, the uncle of the deceased children, thanked Mkutswana and all those who contributed in the burial of his nieces and nephews.

“I want to thank him and all those who came to help us. We were really in need. We are still in need, because we do not have a place to stay now,” Vellem said.

Vellem said he and other seven family members have since moved-in with his sister in her two bedroom house, in Makhaya.

Asked how the mothers were taking the pain of losing their children in such a way, he said they were beginning to show signs of improvement


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