The father of three of the five Laudium fire victims has spoken out about the heart-wrenching tragedy that claimed the lives of his beloved children. Johannes Maswanganyi, the grieving father, revealed that he could not recognise his children upon arriving at the scene.
According to SABC News, the fire victims were between the ages of one and seven, and the blaze consumed them beyond recognition. The incident occurred in the early hours of a Sunday morning after their mothers allegedly left them unattended in the shack overnight, choosing instead to spend time at a nearby tavern.
Tragically, the shack was, among many others, rented out on the property. While some tenants managed to escape the inferno, the children were left behind, and no one heard screams of distress from their dwellings.
Describing the devastating sequence of events, Johannes Maswanganyi expressed a profound sense of guilt for his children’s passing. He shared that his children had left him sleeping, informing him they were visiting their aunt with his partner. But in the early hours of the morning, they never returned. He rushed to the scene upon being awakened but found indescribable horror. His children were unrecognisable in the fire’s aftermath.
The tragic incident has spurred discussions on improving safety measures in informal settlements and addressing the vulnerabilities communities face. Gauteng Human Settlements MEC Lebogang Maile visited the area after the tragedy, highlighting the urgent need for change. Maile advocated relocating the Itireleng informal settlement, citing the area’s unsuitability due to its dolomitic nature and uninhabitable conditions. The incident has further underscored the challenges vulnerable populations face in inadequate housing.
Picture: X / TheTruthPanther
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