Help us bury our dead

2018-05-10 06:00
Sub-council 9 Chairperson Xolani Sotashe talking to the family members during his visit to the family in Site C. Sitting in front of him is Bangani and other family members.PHOTO: UNATHI OBOSE

Sub-council 9 Chairperson Xolani Sotashe talking to the family members during his visit to the family in Site C. Sitting in front of him is Bangani and other family members.PHOTO: UNATHI OBOSE

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The Bangani family in Site C has come forward with pleas for help from the community, in order to be able to bury their family members who died as their shack was razed by fire on Monday morning.

About eight members of the family perished in the fire, the cause of which was still unknown at the time of going to press.

They included gogo Nontlupheko 60, Dumile 45, Wanda, Endinako, Sisipho, Athi, Abongile and Mivuyo,2.

They were staying in Taiwan, Site C, Khayelitsha.

City of Cape Town Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson Theo Layne confirmed the incident and said about four shacks burned down, leaving about 22 people homeless.

“An adult female, two adult males, three male minors and a female minor sustained fatal burns,” said Layne.

Speaking on behalf of the bereaved family, a relative said they were shattered by the news of the death of the family members.

“It is a difficult time for us and it’s hard to believe. We don’t know what to do at the moment, but we will meet on Saturday and discuss the way forward. The challenge is to transport the deceased to Eastern Cape,” said Bangani.

He said all of them (deceased) don’t have burial society.

“Our wish is to bury them in their ancestral land in Cofimvaba. But we will have to wait for post-mortem results, then will take it from there,” he explained.

One of the neighbours who witnessed the fire, Nolithemba Mjobo said the fire started at about one in the morning.

“I woke to the noise of people shouting “fire, fire!”.

I woke up to a bright light inside my shack. When I went out, I saw Gogo’s shack engulfed with flames. They were about 11 human beings inside the house, but only three of them managed to escape the fire,” said Mjobo. She described the incident as shocking and traumatising.

“It’s the first incident of this kind ... There was a fire at the beginning of last year, but no one died.

Ward 18 Councillor Ntomboxolo Kopman, paying her condolences to the family, urged them to be strong.

“When I received the call early in the morning about the incident, I rushed to the scene. When I saw the deceased, they were(all huddled up) in the corner.

Their grandmother was in a kneeling(position), holding onto two of her grandchildren, (as one trying to shield them )” said Kopman.

She said sub-council will try their best to assist the family.

Kopman added that they were still waiting for the MEC for Human Settlements, Bonginkosi Madikizela to report back regarding housing development in the area.

“Madikizela has vowed to come back with the report back, and we are still waiting.”

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