Two children burn to death in raging shack fire

TWO children perished in a fire that gutted their shack while their mother allegedly went on a drinking spree with friends.

TWO children perished in a fire that gutted their shack while their mother allegedly went on a drinking spree with friends.

The incident happened when the Selame brothers Tebogo, 8, and Pogisho, 2, were sleeping in their single-room shack with their elder brother Lebogang, 12, at the Slovo informal settlement at Ipeleng in North West on Friday.

Their unidentified mother was alleged to have visited a local shebeen with friends while her children were left on their own. Lebogang managed to escape unscathed.

P olice spokesperson Captain Adele Myburgh said Lebogang told them that Tebogo had woken up and lit a candle shortly before 8pm saying he was looking for something to eat.

Myburgh said Lebogang woke up, extinguished the candle and ordered Tebogo to go back to sleep.

The police captain told Sowetan that Tebogo woke up later and lit the candle again. "However, it tipped over and caught something when he tried to extinguish it - causing the fire."

Myburgh said when police arrived at the scene the flames were too strong and could not rescue the children.

Itumeleng Motlhabane, head of the Mamusa fire department at Schweitzer Reneke, said when they arrived at the scene the shack had already burnt out .

"We only had to extinguish the smouldering pieces of clothes and furniture.

"It appeared that the children were sleeping on the floor and we could only see one body. We found the other one later."

Motlhabane said "a hysterical woman" identified as the children's mother kept pacing up and down and chasing onlookers away from the scene.

"She appeared to be drunk," Motlhabane said.

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