News / South Africa

Virginia Keppler
2 minute read
11 Jan 2018
1:10 pm

Community threatens couple moments after they buried their two children

Virginia Keppler

One of the children who survived the fire is currently being treated for his injuries at the George Mukhari hospital in Soshanguve.

Remains of the shack in which Promise, 1, and Gudani Khoza, 4, burned to death. Their older brother Hard-life Khoza is in hospital with serious injuries.

Members of the Congress of the People (Cope) had to come to the rescue of a young couple who were almost attacked minutes after they buried their two children who died in a shack fire in Soshanguve, north of Pretoria.

The children, Promise, 1, and Gudani Khoza, 4, died in the fire while their elder brother, Hard-life Khoza, 7, sustained serious injuries on the night of December 23, two days before Christmas.

Hard-life is currently being treated for his injuries in the George Mukhari hospital in Soshanguve.

It is still not clear where their parents, Mmapula Mnisi and Alfred Khoza, were at the time of the incident.

Shortly after the couple buried their children yesterday morning, community members followed them home to a friend’s shack all the way interrogating them about the day the kids died. They wanted to know where the parents were when the fire started.

Cope acting spokesperson Galcier Nkhwashu said they had to step in between the community and the couple because members of the community had attacked the couple after the children had died. Yesterday it seemed as if they wanted to attack them again.

Nkhwashu said they visited the couple and bought groceries for the funeral, but when they got to Soshanguve, the couple had already buried their children and just returned from the cemetery.

A sad Alfred Khoza with the groceries Cope donated to him and Mmapula Mnisi.

A sad Alfred Khoza with the groceries Cope donated to him and Mmapula Mnisi.

“The situation was so tense and the community members kept on wanting to know why the children were alone at home in their little shack.

“We called the police, but three hours later the police still did not show up,” Nkhwashu said.

Cope councillor Selata Nkwane tried reasoning with the community asking them not to take the law into their hands. “The community members feel the parents were negligent to leave the kids alone them.

“I tried to reason with them and asked them not to interrogate a crying mother because she just buried her children,” Nkwane said.

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