Tragedy strikes music recording session as fire kills 3

2020-05-11 14:00
Lindokuhle Duma had just turned 18 when he died from injuries he sustained in a fire on Friday.

Lindokuhle Duma had just turned 18 when he died from injuries he sustained in a fire on Friday.

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A night of fun in a backroom recording studio ended tragically for four teenagers from Mpophomeni when the house caught fire on Friday.

Three of the friends died of their injuries, leaving Sibongeleni Nzimande fighting for his life at Grey’s Hospital.

Nzimande (18) and Lindokuhle Duma (18), Siyabonga Nzimande (20) and Musawenkosi Zulu (19) were all aspiring kwaito musicians. They used Zulu’s bedroom as a recording studio as he also had a computer.

Duma’s aunt, Ncamisile Duma, said the teens had a track they had been working on for some time and they were excited to be able to finally record it that evening.

“They didn’t live together but they were all here on Thursday night because they wanted to record this track. Lindo was really excited when he left home to join his friends.”

She said his mom told her that he did not even eat his favourite meal that she cooked for him as it was his 18th birthday. “He just hugged her and left saying he would see her later but that was the last time they would see each other.”

Duma said there were allegations that the boys were using weed and lean — a drug made using cooldrink and cough syrup — but there was no evidence of that because of the extent of the damage caused by the fire. She said it is suspected that it was lean that caused them to fall asleep and not even realise that the house they were in had caught fire. The inferno is believed to have been caused by a small stove that was in the room.

“It’s really hard dealing with what happened because we had hope that he would live — even after seeing the extent of the burns because even his nails and the soles of his feet were burnt off.

“It was very traumatic because there was smoke coming off their bodies when they were being transported to the clinic.”

Duma said she is going to miss her nephew’s love of life and his family. She said he was very neat and loved helping others.

“He also loved school even though he was struggling and had to work extra hard to pass.”

MEC for Social Development Nonhlanhla Khoza visited the bereaved families on Sunday to offer the provincial government’s condolences. Speaking to The Witness on the sidelines, she said social workers had been deployed to assist with trauma counselling.

“We’ve received reports that the one in hospital is in a critical condition and his back is severely burnt but we will be praying for his recovery.”

Ward councillor Sandile Khumalo said it is difficult to accept that such young lives had been taken in such brutal way. He said the local leadership is doing everything it can to assist the families with funeral arrangements.

Zulu was laid to rest on Sunday and Duma will be buried on Wednesday.

The Nzimande family asked to be contacted on Monday for comment.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  fire
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