Almost 200 orphans in Mpumalanga have been left to fend for themselves after their orphanage was allegedly torched by some of the home's officials.
The Sinethemba Orphanage at Mbuzini Trust, near Komatipoort, Mpumalanga, was gutted a few weeks ago.
The centre had to be closed and all its contents, including groceries, were destroyed.
Some officials from the orphanage claim that the centre was set alight following the disappearance of R1 million, funds that the home received from the department of health last year.
The officials allege that the fire was caused by a gas explosion.
"Some of us suspect that when auditors wanted documents from the centre, the officials concerned decided to set fire to the building to destroy the information," said Mbuzini Community Development worker Skheshekheshe Nkalanga.
He told Sowetan that he suspected foul play.
"The board members are gone and our organisation heard that some officials had received funding worth thousand of rands, yet they decided to close the centre. Then there was the fire.
"We want the government to play its role in tracking down those responsible," said Nkalanga.
"We are in the dark. Our centre has been closed and we don't know what to do," said one of the orphans, Bhekinkosi Mahlalela.
Centre coordinator Thabile Silombo said she was not aware of the allegations.
Mbuzini's head of detectives, Inspector Solomon Sambo, confirmed yesterday that a case of arson was being investigated.