Family still lacks shelter after fire

Elijar Mushiana

Elijar Mushiana

Four children are still without a home and school uniforms, almost a week after their mud house burnt down.

The fire started on Wednesday when Thabelo, 13, Orifha and Takalani Gabara, both 10, were making tea after school on a windy day.

The mud hut caught fire from a paraffin stove and spread to the adjoining rondavel at their home in Schielfarm-Vuwani near Thohoyandou.

The children tried to extinguish the fire and screamed for help. But it was too late for the neighbours to remove furniture and other goods because the roofs had collapsed.

Rudzani, 18, their elder sister in grade 10, was at school and wearing her uniform , but she lost some of her textbooks and all her clothes and blankets.

Their mother, Violet Gabara, who is a domestic worker, was at work when the incident happened.

Gabara said that as a domestic worker, she only earns a minimum wage and it will be difficult for her cover the cost of the damage to her house.

"Since the blaze we are getting food from the school principal. My children are not going to school because they have no uniforms or clothes to wear," she said.

School principal Samson Masuvhelele said: "As the principal of three of the children we will try everything possible to get them some exercise books.

"Their plight has touched me and that's why I decided to allow the family to eat and cook food at my house free of charge. All the children are welcome to come to school wearing casual clothes until they get uniforms," Masuvhelele said.

Ward councillor Khamusi Mauba said the damage would be evaluated with a view to help the family.

"We are busy with social workers to arrange for them to get food parcels," Mauba said.