Condolences pour in after deadly orphanage blaze

Condolences poured in for 15 people, including at least eight children, who burnt to death in an orphanage outside Newcastle on Tuesday.

Minister of Women, Children and Persons with Disabilities, Noluthando Mayende-Sibiya and the KwaZulu-Natal provincial government, reacted with shock at news of the fire at the Hope in Christ Home in Newcastle’s eNgogo.

“This is indeed a national tragedy and my heart goes out to the family of all those who died in this horrific way,” Mayende-Sibiya said.

According to police reports, 15 people, including the woman in charge of the home and her four children, were killed. Another nine children were hospitalised.

Mayende-Sibiya said it was unfortunate it happened during World Orphan Week, during which communities were encouraged to work with the government to help orphaned and vulnerable children.


“This is the period during which we reflect on the plight of the estimated 143-million children who are orphans around the world.”

It was believed the children burnt were aged between two and 15. Two vehicles outside the house were also destroyed.

Police spokesperson superintendent Jay Naicker said fire investigators from Pretoria were on their way to the scene to investigate the cause of the blaze.

Gas explosion suspected
KwaZulu-Natal Premier Dr Zweli Mkhize said it was suspected the fire was caused by a either a gas explosion or an electric fault.

“We are shocked and saddened that so many people, many of them children, have perished in such gruesome circumstances … we wish to convey our condolences to the families,” Mkhize said.

The provincial government said it would make every resource available to help.

Provincial health minister Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo and social development minister Meshack Radebe would visit the scene on Wednesday morning. — Sapa

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

Eastern Cape universities concerned by rising Covid cases

Fort Hare says 26 more students have tested positive while Walter Sisulu University says some of its students have been admitted to hospital.

Institutions of higher learning should commemorate their casualties

The bust of Matikweni Nkuna at Tshwane University of Technology is an example of how we should honour those who fought for equal access to education

Seals abort pups in mass die-off

There are a number of factors — a pollutant, virus or bacteria or malnutrition — that may have caused the 12 000 deaths on Namibia’s coast.

Deconstructing South Africa’s construction industry performance

The construction industry has contracted sharply, partly due to Covid, and needs to rebalance its focus if it wants to survive

Fort Hare students test positive for Covid after partying

The 30 students, who went to a bash at a tavern in East London, were not wearing masks, did not sanitise their hands nor keep to social distancing regulations.

Covid-19 disrupts HIV and TB services

While data is still trickling in on how much the pandemic affects health systems, there are far-reaching consequences for people living with HIV and tuberculosis.
Advertising

Subscribers only

Toxic power struggle hits public works

With infighting and allegations of corruption and poor planning, the department’s top management looks like a scene from ‘Survivor’

Free State branches gun for Ace

Parts of the provincial ANC will target their former premier, Magashule, and the Free State PEC in a rolling mass action campaign

More top stories

Baby Awa: The miracle baby born on a boat fleeing...

More than 300 000 people in the north of the country have been displaced by militants who ransack villages and then burn them down.

Five suspects arrested in Senzo Meyiwa case

Police minister Bheki Cela announced on Monday that his team has arrested five suspects who were allegedly involved in the killing of former Bafana Bafana captain Senzo Meyiwa.

EFF eyes municipalities ahead of 2021 local government elections

EFF leader Julius Malema says the party is preparing to govern in many municipalities from next year. It is also launching a programme to defend the rights of farm workers

WSU suspends classes and exams to avoid the spread of...

The university says it has to take the precautionary measures because 26 students have tested positive on its East London campus
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday