Sat Dec 10 20:31:00 CAT 2016

ready to rebuild

By Louise McAuliffe and Penwell Dlamini | 2009-08-26 00:00:00.0 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

TODAY will see the start of the rebuilding of a house that was destroyed by a fire in which three family members died recently.

TODAY will see the start of the rebuilding of a house that was destroyed by a fire in which three family members died recently.

The family house on Vilakazi Street in Orlando West, Soweto, was burnt down when a gas heater exploded, causing a fire that killed Phindile Ndlovu, 27, her seven-year-old daughter Fikile and four-year-old cousin Paballo.

Since that tragic night on August 4 a total of R300000 has been pledged by companies, charities and individuals to help the Ndlovus rebuild their home.

The house is next to Nelson Mandela's old home.

Imison, a construction company, has offered to rebuild the house. The company's MD, Dick Botha, said Imison would "hand over the keys in two weeks".

Another Imison director, Mqondisi Gumede, said the new house would be better than the old structure and will have three bedrooms. It was used to be a two-bedroom house.

Roseline Ndlovu said: "Before his death my grandfather prayed that all of us should be married in that house."

She is not the only one struggling to come to terms with what happened. Little Sipho, 9, whose mother and sister died in the blaze, is not coping with the trauma.

"Though he is back at school he spends most of his time at Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's house," Ndlovu said. "I think he needs counselling."

Roseline's brother, Mpho Hlophe, is still in hospital being treated for burns to his face, head, both arms and shoulders.

Baby Nthabaleng, whose mother Phindile and sister died in the fire, is being cared for by her grandmother, Nora Songolo, in Pimville, Soweto.

Once the house has been rebuilt, Roseline Ndlovu will be sharing the three-bedroom home with her brother Hlophe, Gogo Charlotte Ndlovu, Sibongile, who lost her daughter Paballo, and Thandi Songolo. Sipho and baby Nthabaleng will also return to the house. Some of the Ndlovus are living in rooms in the backyard.

l See the video and pictures of the demolition of the house on www.sowetan.co.za

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