Man linked Zodwa Special School fire appears in court for murder
Two workers were killed in a gas explosion at the Zodwa Special School, while four others were injured in the blast.
The school for children with learning disabilities burnt down in Atteridgeville.Photo: Google Maps
A 34-year-old man accused of causing a fire at Zodwa Special School in Atteridgeville, Tshwane, has been remanded in custody following his court appearance.
Moloko Calvin Ramogwadi made a brief appearance at the Atteridgeville Magistrates Court on Monday.
Last week Wednesday, two workers were killed in a gas explosion at the Zodwa Special School, while four others were also injured in the blast.
National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Lumka Mahanjana said Ramogwadi is facing charges of two counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder.
“Ramogwadi was hired by a company to build extra classrooms at Zodwa Special School. However, on 22 August 2023, he was fired from the company.
“It is alleged that the following day on 23 August 2023, Ramogwadi went back to the school, and another company employee asked why he was there, he said he was collecting his tools.
“It is further alleged that Ramogwadi proceeded to open gas tanks, while the other workers were still on site and a fire broke out.
“Two other workers died at the scene and three others were taken to hospital. Ramogwadi was arrested the same day after the incident,” Mahanjana said.
Mahanjana said Ramogwadi is expected back in court soon.
“The matter was postponed to 1 September 2023 for investigations in respect of bail and possible bail application,” Mahanjana said.
Meanwhile, families of the two victims who died in the Zodwa gas explosion have to wait up to three months before they can lay their loved ones to rest.
Johannes Shonge, the cousin of one victim – Pabala Lefata Mashigwane – said the family wasn’t doing well.
“He was only 21 years old. We live close to the school. Some of the community members told me my cousin was inside there. He couldn’t come out.”
Shonge said the family was heartbroken and described Mashigwane as a quiet guy who didn’t talk much.
Additional reporting by Marizka Coetzer