Five children who are also cousins were burnt beyond recognition at the Itireleng squatter camp near Laudium in Tshwane. The children, aged between one to seven, were killed in the early hours of Sunday morning in the tragic incident.
According to Charles Mabaso, a spokesperson for the City of Tshwane Emergency Services, they received a report at 4:26 a.m. this morning about six shacks that had been destroyed by fire.
“Firefighters arrived on the scene to find multiple shacks engulfed by fire and immediately started with firefighting operations.
“The remains of five children, who were burnt beyond recognition, were discovered in the ruins of the shacks after the fire was extinguished,” Mabaso said.
Mabaso went on to say that the five children, three boys aged 2, 4, and 6, and two girls aged 7 and 17 months, belonged to two sisters. He claimed that the two sisters allegedly left the children alone inside a shack and went drinking at a nearby tavern.
“At the time of releasing the statement, the sisters were under police arrest and taken to a local police station for questioning. The circumstances surrounding the cause of the fire are still under investigation,” he said.
Mabaso urged parents and guardians to always leave their children in the care of an adult and in a safe place. The circumstances surrounding the fire’s cause are still being investigated.