Two sisters have been arrested after their five children were burnt beyond recognition in a fire which destroyed at least six shacks in Itireleng informal settlement near Laudium in Tshwane, South Africa.
The incident was reported at approximately 4.30am on Sunday, August 27, 2023.
Spokesperson for the Tshwane emergency services department, Thabo Charles Mabaso, in a statement on Monday, August 28, said the children’s mothers allegedly left them alone overnight and went out to drink at a nearby tavern.
“Firefighters arrived on the scene to find multiple shacks engulfed by fire and immediately started with firefighting operations,” Mabaso, said.
“Five remains of children burnt beyond recognition were discovered in the ruins of the shacks after the fire was extinguished.”
The five children were three boys aged two, four, and six and two girls aged one and seven years.
“It is alleged that the two sisters left the children in one shack overnight and went out to drink 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,” said Mabaso.
He said the circumstances surrounding the cause of the fire are still under investigation.
“We call upon parents and caregivers to ensure that children are always left under the care of an adult and in a safe environment,” said Mabaso.