Two sisters have been arrested for child neglect after their four children died in a fire while they were out partying at a local tavern.
Mbalenhle Fihlani, 5, Nhlanhla Ngubeni, 7, Sandile Ngubeni, 4, and Amukelani Ngubeni, 2, died in the early hours of Sunday after a fire thought to be caused by a heater broke out in their two-roomed home in Alexandra, northern Johannesburg.
A teenager who was left with the children told the police that he woke up to a fire engulfing the house when he escaped to alert the neighbours.
Gauteng police spokesperson Captain Kay Makhubele said the two sisters were charged with child neglect and may possibly be further charged with culpable homicide.
One child died at the scene, while the three others died in hospital after succumbing to their injuries.
Mbalenhle's grandmother Nosi Sokupha said she raised the little girl since she was a baby but was recently separated from the five-year-old by her 29-year-old mother.
"I feel terrible that my grandchild died because her mother was drinking alcohol.
"She (Mbalenhle) should have been with me. I'm the one who raised her," Sokupha, said.