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Brazier smoke kills Madjadja

SHARPEVILLE. - Gijimani “Shakes” Madjadja (50) was found dead after two days inhaling smoke from a brazier.

SHARPEVILLE. – Gijimani “Shakes” Madjadja (50) was found dead after two days inhaling smoke from a brazier.

The makeshift brazier is a traditional heater known as an ‘imbawula’. This event robbed the Tshepiso South (Sharpeville) community of the elderly man’s life. Since winter, electricity now costs a fortune as load shedding is a nightmare to everyone. Most households resort to using braziers (imbawula) which endangers their lives.

Madjadja increased the statistics of winter deaths due to smoke inhalation from the brazier. It’s apparent that the deceased died two days before he went missing from his house, while his common law wife Magarete Julies survived only by being hospitalised. The death of 50-year-old Madjadja was discovered by neighbour Mapoloko Mnkwanazi, who was concerned that the couple had been missing since Sunday.

Mapoloko Mnkwanazi, the neighbour, and the survivor of the brazier’s smoke, Magarete Julies, stands before the brazier (imbawula) that cost the life of Gijimani “Shakes” Madjadja. Insert: Magarete Julies, the survivor of the brazier’s smoke. Her common law husband died in Tshepiso last Tuesday. Photos: Mduduzi Mathebula.
Mapoloko Mnkwanazi, the neighbour, and the survivor of the brazier’s smoke, Magarete Julies, stands before the brazier (imbawula) that cost the life of Gijimani “Shakes” Madjadja. Insert: Magarete Julies, the survivor of the brazier’s smoke. Her common law husband died in Tshepiso last Tuesday. Photos: Mduduzi Mathebula.

Mnkwanazi says she last saw the couple on Sunday night. At the time, they would not allow her to take the brazier out of the house when she was checking on them: “I asked them to take the braizer out but they suspected I would steal it.” She said she never thought that would be the last time she saw the couple alive. Mnkwanazi says she was worried on Monday and Tuesday morning when she did not see them, though she told herself that they had simply made an early start for work. However, she also said they usually came and greeted her but those two nights there was no sign of them.

On Tuesday morning Mnkwanazi and other neighbours broke through the couple’s door due to the fact that they had not seen the couple for almost two days. Luckily they found Julie trying to reach the door, though Madjadja common law husband was already deceased.

Paramedics and Police were called to the scene and Madjadja was declared dead at the scene, An inquest has been opened by the Sharpeville Police.

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