Man hangs himself after allegedly setting wife, 2 children alight

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A mum and her two kids from KwaGuqa in Emalahleni died after she allegedly poisoned them.
A mum and her two kids from KwaGuqa in Emalahleni died after she allegedly poisoned them.
PHOTO: iStock
  • A Mpumalanga man set his wife and two children alight after a heated argument with his wife, police say.
  • Both children died in hospital on Thursday and Friday respectively, while the mom is fighting for her life.
  • The man is believed to have hanged himself after he heard that his children had died.

A woman is fighting for her life in hospital after her husband allegedly poured petrol over her and set her and her two children alight, after the couple had a serous argument in Zwelitsha, Nelspruit.

According to police, a 43-year-old man went into hiding after he allegedly set his family alight on Tuesday 10 November.

READ | Woman and child, 13, found burnt and strangled to death in KZN

Neighbours came to the rescue of the family following the incident, which is believed to have occurred after an argument.

"Police were notified about the incident and upon arrival at the scene, a case was opened accordingly and they immediately launched a manhunt for the suspect," police spokesperson Colonel Donald Mdhluli said.

The woman and her children were rushed to hospital and were treated for severe burn wounds.

Mdhluli said that the two children - Karabo Shabangu and Nokubonga Shabangu, aged 9 and 11 - succumbed to their injuries in hospital on Thursday and Friday respectively.

"After news broke of their untimely death, the man was found on Friday hanging under a tree next to his parent's house," added Mdhluli.

He was certified dead on the scene.

Police are investigating two counts of murder, attempted murder, arson, and an inquest docket.

The police management in Mpumalanga has strongly condemned the incident and called for members of the public to seek assistance from social workers whenever they face challenges in their relationships, rather than resorting to ending one's life or those of their loved ones.

Mpumalanga Community Safety, Security and Liaison MEC Gabisile Shabalala expressed her shock, sending condolences to the family of the deceased and wishing the mother a speedy recovery.

"It is deeply shocking for us to witness such levels of violence in our society," the MEC said in a statement.

"Men should stop viewing violence as a solution to family disputes but should rather work out differences in a peaceful manner rather than opting to harm themselves or others," she added.

Shabalala also thanked the Zwelitsha community who came to the family's aid.

The MEC appealed to all stakeholders to work with government in its quest to end gender-based violence and femicide saying that it is a war that government will not win alone. 

*This story has been updated with comment from MEC Shabalala.

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