Shorné Bennie
1 minute read
9 Dec 2019
9:07 am

200 left homeless after fire guts Jika Joe settlement in Pietermaritzburg

Shorné Bennie

According to residents, the fire was started by a man who was robbed by a prostitute.

Image: Maritzburg Sun

On Sunday morning, distraught victims of the Jika Joe informal settlement fire in Pietermaritzburg were sifting through the ashes trying to salvage their belongings.

People lost everything, including whatever little they had saved and put aside for Christmas, after a fire gutted the area, reports Maritzburg Sun.

According to residents, the fire was started by a man who was robbed by a prostitute.

“A lady of the night who lives on the other side of Jika Joe found an empty room here. Once her friend fell asleep, she robbed him of his phone and money. He then set her shack on fire with a gaslighter,” said the residents.

Linda Mkhize, 23, who lives at Jika Joe with his three brothers, said that he had lost his entire savings.

“I had R900 saved. We have lost our groceries, clothes and important documents. We just heard people make a noise and then we knew we had to run. We could not take our belongings with us,” said Mkhize.

Msunduzi Disaster Management was already on scene and are in the process of handing out blankets and mattresses to the residents who were taken to the East Street Clinic Hall for accommodation.

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