Soweto killer dad dies of burn wounds
The man who set his home alight in Soweto, south of Johannesburg, killing three of his children and injuring his live-in partner, has died
The 31-year-old man died in hospital on Wednesday night from burn wounds he suffered in the fire, Warrant Officer Kay Makhubela said today.
The woman is still in a critical condition in hospital.
The fire which killed the three brothers, aged 3 years, 7 years and 10 years old, was apparently started by the father.
Makhubela said the man had a fight with their mother on Tuesday night.
“They went to bed and he later woke up and went to buy petrol and returned to the house,” he said.
The man apparently locked himself and the rest of the family in their house, doused it with petrol and set it alight.
He apparently suspected his partner of having an affair with his brother.
Neighbours say they heard screams before a loud bang alerted them to the fire just before midnight on Tuesday.
The man's grandmother, who lives a street away from the scene of the blaze, told how hysterical the burnt woman was when she rushed for help. Her actions were also tinged with despair and agony at having to watch helplessly as her children perished.
"It was 1am when she came knocking, crying and screaming, shouting that my grandchild had burnt her children. I was terrified. I could hardly recognise her. Her clothes had melted to her skin," she said.
The man had allegedly set fire to the outside room he shared with the woman, who had been his live-in lover for 10 years, and their children.
The couple is said to have been planning to get married in December.
Amid tears, the man's brother told Sowetan that there had been a misunderstanding about a dinner between him and the woman, which had led to a fight between the couple.
"After work I passed by my brother's place, only to find him sleeping, while my sister-in-law was cooking and she dished up for us and the kids," the brother said.
"After eating I left, seeing that he was fast asleep. Later in the evening I received a message from her saying: 'Your brother is accusing me of having a Valentine's Day dinner with you - in his presence - and that we are sleeping together'."