Municipality will help bury family

McKeed Kotlolo

McKeed Kotlolo

The eight members of a family in Ermelo, Mpumalanga, who died in a fire that destroyed their home last week, will be buried at a local cemetery this weekend.

Though everything, including clothing and documentation, was destroyed in the inferno, the destitute family plans to bury its deceased members on Saturday.

The only surviving member and head of the family, William Mlotshwa, 51, is in a critical condition at the local hospital after suffering more than 70 percent body burns.

His wife, Miriam, 50, and daughter, Nurse, 32, and six grandchildren were killed while asleep on October 30.

Ivan Gomez, a doctor in Ermelo, yesterday said Mlotshwa had "improved and is stable. He is responding very well to treatment, though he's going to take some time to heal as a result of the severity of the burns".

Meanwhile, the Msukaligwa Local Municipality has declared the incident a "disaster".

Bheki Vilakazi, the mayor, yesterday said at a mayoral committee meeting that the municipality needed to help the family with the burial of the deceased and a decision to that effect was taken.

Thusi Kubheka, the municipal manager, said: "We are going all out to solicit some assistance towards giving the deceased a dignified send-off."

Kubheka said the mayor would appeal to the local community, particularly the business community, to help the family.

"As political head in the council, the mayor will take it upon himself to write letters to the other six municipalities in the Gert Sibande Municipal District to help in the funeral arrangements," said Kubheka.

Kubheka also said a memorial service for the deceased would be held at the destroyed family home on Thursday.