Dad, not Mum off the hook for kids' shack fire deaths

2016-01-22 12:59

Mbombela - A father implicated in the deaths of his two children is off the hook.

The courts have decided to charge only their mother for murder after the children, aged two and three, died in a shack fire in Kwazamokuhle settlement in Hendrina on Christmas night.

The children's parents had gone out separately to enjoy the revelries on December 25 last year.

"The case against the father was withdrawn because, when the incident took place, he was not there. He had already left the house early in the morning," Mpumalanga spokesman Sergeant Gerald Sedibe said.

He said the mother was being held wholly liable, as the father had left the children in her care.

"The kids were left with the mother who then left them alone at home," said Sedibe.

He said the fire broke out at about 8:45pm, while both parents were still out.

"Police and the fire department were summoned to the scene. The kids were found lying on the mattress, burnt to death, after the fire was extinguished," he said.

The couple, David Mashiloane, 45, and Rebecca Mtshweni, 23, were initially charged with abuse and the deliberate neglect and abandonment of children.

The charge then changed to murder and was applied only to the mother.

The mother was expected back in the Middelburg Magistrate's Court on February 26. She was asked not to plead during her last court appearance.




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