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Shelter for flood victims burn down

By unknown | Dec 10, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

Distraught residents of Molweni near Hillcrest in Durban have been dealt a double blow.

This time they had to hurriedly evacuate the Community Youth Centre that was used as their temporary home when it went up in flames.

Last month they lost their homes when a tornado struck the area, leaving 10 people dead and more than 1000 homeless.

More than 50 families were being housed in the centre when a raging fire gutted the place on Monday night. The damage is estimated at more than R1 million.

Luckily no one was injured. But donated food, blankets and clothes were destroyed in the fire. The exact cause of the fire is not yet known but police are investigating a case of arson.

Indications from the community is that irate members of the local community, who could not use the hall for a meeting, might have been responsible.

The provincial government and eThekwini municipality have joined hands to bring relief aid to the victims. They undertook to complete the rebuilding of houses destroyed by the storm and flood by Christmas.

Ward councillor Tex Collins said it was not clear how the centre burnt.

"We are aware that there was a man who allegedly threatened to burn the centre," he said. "It's quite a blow for the community because the centre was used as a major feeding point."

People have now been moved to the Molweni Methodist Church.

One of the victims, Thembeka Dlamini, said the burning of their temporary shelter was like rubbing salt into a wound.

"We are still trying to heal after the pain and trauma of losing our homes. But some horrible people have now burnt down our new home."

Police spokesman Captain Thulani Zwane confirmed the centre went up in flames late at night.


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