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WATCH: Night out costs mother two children

Khayelitsha mother Melezwa Mntwini(31) is seeking for help to bury her two children who died in a shack fire in the early hours of Saturday, 13 April. The incident happened in Emsindweni informal settlement in Makhaza.

Melezwa lost her daughter Athanandi, who was 10 years old and her five-year-old son Ingakuthi Mntwini. The mother had left the kids sleeping inside her shack when she went to have a few drinks with friends at a nearby shebeen. The shack caught fire around 3am and killed the kids whose bodies were found in a embracing position on the bed.

According to Melezwa, she received a call from her sister telling her to come back home. When she arrived, she found out that her shack was on fire.

“When I got to my house the fire was still by the door and people were trying by all means to get my kids out but the zinc material of my shack was ‘chocking’ them. My shack had touched some electricity cables so the whole shack was full of electricity currents and people feared for their lives,” said Melezwa.

Children died as mother went out for “a few drinks.”
Athanandi Mntwini

The mother said she has no idea of what caused the fire. She said before she left her house everything was switched off and her children had their cell phones in bed with them.

“While people were still using water to stop the fire from spreading, I advised them to take down the side of a shack where the bed is but they couldn’t do that because they would be electrocuted,”Mntwini explained.

Melezwa says she could still hear them calling out for mama, before they went quiet and that is when she lost hope. “My five-year old boy went out on a school trip on Friday and he came back with a medal. I took pictures of him and those are his last pictures on my phone. Little did I know it was my last time taking photos of him,” said Mntwini.

Nomzi Mpukwini(65) who lives in a shack behind where Mntwini’s says she was woken up by a beeping sound. At first she thought it was a washing machine which they left running on the previous night not knowing it was a smoke detector in one of her bedrooms.

“I don’t think the children were still awake when the fire started. I only heard them crying when I started shouting for people to come out and help,” Mpukwini explained.

Melezwa told Ezitshisayo that she is worried on how she will bury her children since she doesn’t work. She said, she has been doing some piece jobs at the taxi rank and survived on social grants of her children.

Children died as mother went out for “a few drinks.”
Ingakuthi Mntwini.

“I have never worked before, I sometimes go and work at those braai stands next to the Somerset taxi rank whenever they need someone, they would ask me to work for them. I don’t even know where to start with preparations of the funeral,”said Mntwini.
Police spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Malcolm Pojie says an inquest docket has been opened.

WATCH: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9CgWyiDttU&t=12s

“Preliminary information reveals that the mother of the two was not home at the time of the fire and was alerted by her neighbour whilst she allegedly visited a friend. Tthe children were burned beyond recognition. The cause of the fire is unknown at this stage,” said Pojie.

 

 

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