Bleak Christmas for KZN family after house burns down

2016-10-25 07:50
Gogo Sikhokhile Khoza, 70, and her six grandchildren have been left destitute after a fire guttered their home last week (Supplied).

Gogo Sikhokhile Khoza, 70, and her six grandchildren have been left destitute after a fire guttered their home last week (Supplied).

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Durban - A KwaZulu-Natal grandmother, who looks after six grandchildren on her R1 000 state pension, is facing a bleak Christmas after a fire gutted her home.

Sikhokhile Khoza, a 70-year-old gogo from Mzingazi, outside Richards Bay, told how her granddaughter was left with only the clothes on her back after the fire.

"She [Mpilo Gumede, 27] was wearing green slops and a pink dress, that is all she has left," said.

On Monday, October 17, a fire broke out in Gumede's room after a suspected electrical fault. 

"We were sitting outside and then all of a sudden we heard one of the children screaming that the bedroom was on fire. We saw smoke coming out of the window and Mpilo went into the house and noticed that the fire had spread to other rooms.

"She went to the get a bucket of water but it was too late, the fire had spread everywhere."

The elderly woman said neighbours came to help but in the end "they all watched as my house went up in flames".

No help from councillor

Khoza said her house, built in 1989, was already in a bad state.

"We have been built a shack and told not to go into the remaining structure as it may collapse anytime."

Khoza said she did not know what to do to improve the situation, especially with Christmas around the corner.

"We have nothing. We need help."

She said she had pleaded with the local councillor to help the family, but she had had no help from them.

Community activist Sharon Mdletshe had taken the family in until they were built a temporary structure.

"The family needs help because they do not have much. Last week the uMfolozi municipality built them a shack but this is just temporary. A church brought food, clothes and a mattress for the family but we still need more," said Mdletshe.

She said she would continue knocking on the doors of businesses for help for the family.

Read more on:    durban  |  fires

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