Picture: for illustration purposes

Tragic Shack Fire Claims Another Family in Nelson Mandela Bay

Published September 21, 2023
9 months ago

In the early morning hours of Tuesday, tragedy struck the Khayelitsha informal settlement in Motherwell, Nelson Mandela Bay, as a deadly fire claimed the lives of four people and decimated a patchwork of 13 shacks.

The deceased victims included two adults, Luthando Mpi (32), and his wife, Licelo (31), along with their two young children, six-year-old Aloyise and one-year-old Ikamvalethu. This loss has dealt a heavy blow to the community, which continues to mourn in the wake of the disaster.

According to Colonel Priscilla Naidu, police spokesperson, the underrated and frequent perils of living in such conditions were highlighted yet again by this incident. Most notably, the fire is suspected to have been sparked by a burning candle, a necessary but risky staple in homes where the luxury of electricity remains a dream too far.

In a span of one week, this unfortunate episode marks the second major shack fire disaster in Nelson Mandela Bay. The preceding Sunday, a similar fire in Missionvale claimed the lives of six family members.

The reoccurrence of these tragedies underscores the broader nationwide issue of shack fires ravaging the country's poorest communities, with countless lives lost and many more displaced, disproporting the already marginalized.

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