Fire victims’ last trip

2018-06-07 06:01
Taiwan informal settlement residents gathered in Dada Street to say a farewell to eight members of the Bangani family, before their journey their funeral in Cofimvaba, Eastern Cape.PHOTOS: UNATHI OBOSE

Taiwan informal settlement residents gathered in Dada Street to say a farewell to eight members of the Bangani family, before their journey their funeral in Cofimvaba, Eastern Cape.PHOTOS: UNATHI OBOSE

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Residents in Taiwan informal settlement in Site C – despite chilly weather – last Thursday gathered in Dada Street to bid a sad farewell to eight members of the Bangani family who had perished in a shack fire.

Ggogo Nontlupheko (60), Dumile (45), Wanda, Endinako, Sisipho, Athi, Abongile and Mivuyo, all perished in the fire.

They were transported to Cofimvaba in Eastern Cape, to their final resting place.

Motorists had to use alternative routes during the proceedings.

The family could not even show the remains of the deceased – as is the custom – because of the inclement weather.

Laurence Bangani, speaking on behalf of the family, said they are heartbroken, but were grateful to community members who came out in droves and shared their grief.

“They have helped us bury our loved ones.

“We did not have the means to carry such a huge burden, but with the words of encouragement that we are receiving from the community, we feel strong.

“I want to thank the community and the City of Cape Town for the support that they showed us during this time of hardship.

“We wish they can do the same to other people who are in the same situation,” says Bangani.

He says they felt relieved now that they were ferrying the deceased back to their ancestral home.

Bulelwa Silekwa, a community member, wished the family a safe journey to in the Eastern Cape.

At the time of the incident, Nolithemba Mjobo, a witness, said she woke up at one in the morning to people shouting: “Fire, fire!”

“I woke up to a bright flame inside my shack. When I went out to investigate, I saw gogo’s shack engulfed in flames ... I knew that 11 people stayed in the house, but saw that only three had managed to escape,” she said of the tragedy.

On the day of the departure, Silekwa said the City has to relocate them to proper houses.

“I believe their death will be an eye opener to the City to speed up the process of housing.”

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