Police in Mpumalanga are investigating the cause of a fire that burnt to death two girls aged seven and nine at Jerusalem in kaMasoyi, outside White River. The two cousins were burnt when the house in which they were sleeping burst into flames over the weekend.

Police say the two children were certified dead at the scene.

Delsile Mhaule, the mother of 9-year-old girl Mandisa Maseko is distraught as she had high hopes for her young daughter. Maseko and Noxolo Mlotshwa, aged 7, were both learners at Legogote Primary School in the area.

“We are devastated. I was happy that my child had begun attending school and that she will change my life for the better as we are struggling. I thought she will study and become something in life while I am still alive,” says Mhaule.

The family suspects foul play.  Family Spokesperson, Nicholas Mhaule, says someone had threatened the family.

“He said, be warned,  the next victim might be your family member, that’s why we suspect that it could be him because he said it, we are not sure whether he used a petrol bomb or  what, exactly,” explains the family representative.

Police are investigating

Police Spokesperson, Donald Mdhluli, says another similar incident, which claimed two lives, happened in the same area last month.

“The incident is said to have occurred while their parents were away and it was at night. In March 2021, we had an incident where a mother as well as the son were unfortunately torched to death. We would like to urge parents to ensure that their children are not left unattended,” Mdhluli says.

A post-mortem is also being conducted to ascertain the two cousins’ cause of death.