Woman dies trying to save her family

Mfuleni family loses three members in a fire. Two children are still fighting for their lives in hospital.

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Asiphe Shologu, 26, and two other family members died from burns from a fire at this shack in Mfuleni. “People kept on calling her to get out, but she refused until all four children were out,” says neighbour. Photo: Nombulelo Damba-Hendrik

A family in Mfuleni has lost three members in a shack fire. Two other members are still fighting for their lives in hospital.

The fire occurred in the early hours of Saturday morning in Burundi informal settlement. Asiphe Shologu (26) and two toddlers, Luniko Shologu and Ntsika Mkhwambi, died in hospital, on Saturday morning. Asiphe’s son and niece, both under ten years old, are still in Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital in Cape Town.

Busisiwe Shologu lost her sister, son and nephew in the fire.

Her neighbour, Lindokuhle Nonjonjo, said they were woken by Asiphe’s cries for help. “People tried to open the gate at the door but they could not,” she explained. She said that they managed to remove one of the shack’s zinc sheets,. Asiphe was in house trying to save the children who were burning.

“She carried all of them through the hole we opened. This was so sad to watch. People kept on calling her to get out, but she refused until all four children were out,” said Nonjonjo. “She was very brave, instead of saving herself she made sure that the children were all out.”

“One of the children said a burning music speaker fell on him,” said Nonjonjo.

Shologu says she suspects electricity was responsible. Nothing much was burnt except the pillows on the bed. There is a plug just next to the bed, she said.

She said they are hoping to bury their loved ones in Mount Fletcher in the Eastern Cape

City Fire and Rescue Services spokesperson Jermaine Carelse said the scene of the fire was inaccessible for vehicles. “Firefighters had to proceed on foot to the incident.”


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