Teen dies due to smoke inhalation

2017-12-20 06:01

THE Mnguni family in KwaMachibisa, Ward 22, are struggling to come to terms with the loss of a 15-year-old family member in a fire that gutted their home.

Luyanda Mnguni, a KwaPata High Grade 8 pupil, died in the early hours of November 19.

His aunt, Ntombikhona Mnguni, said the incident happened at about 12.45am.

The cause of the fire is unknown. Neighbours helped to put the blaze out and rescue Luyanda from inside the house.

Another family member, who was also in the house, remains hospitalised.

She said the family of five lost everything, apart for a two- bedroom outhouse, which they are now forced to live in.

Luyanda’s grandmother, Nonhlanhla Mnguni, said the family was caught unaware when the fire broke out.

She said Luyanda was asleep in his bedroom at the time
of the incident and when she called out to him she could
tell by his response that he could not get out of the room because he had inhaled a lot of smoke.

“Eventually the neighbourhood boys managed to drag him out through his bedroom window, but it was too late,” Nonhlanhla said.

Nonhlanhla and Ntombikhona said their pain didn’t end that day because they feel the area ward councillor, Xolani Ngongoma, has not sympathised with them because of his failure to provide more assistance.

“All we received is a food parcel from the municipality disaster department,” Ntombikhona said.

Nonhlanhla said when the councillor was notified about the fire later that Sunday morning he said he was going to church and would attend to the family on his return.

“But the days went by without any word from the councillor. Eventually, I called him and then he promised to help us to remove the rubble,” Nonhlanhla said.

However, Nonhlanhla said his promise only materialised four days later.

“He is not even concerned about our well-being even though we are voters,” Nonhlanhla said.

Ngongoma said he does not know what more the family wants from him because he had gone above and beyond assisting them.

He said the family only wants to tarnish his name by approaching the media with claims that he had not provided any assistance.

“It is a shame and painful
that political wars are fought through newspapers,” Ngongoma said.

He said he had ensured the municipality provided a heavy duty vehicle to remove the rubble and had sourced material for the family to build temporary

“No one in the family told me about the fire, only the public.”

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