Sisters granted correctional supervision pending trial over deaths of 5 children in Laudium shack fire
Family still waiting to bury children who died in August shack fire
The family of five children who died in a shack fire after they were allegedly left alone at Itireleng informal settlement near Laudium in Pretoria are frustrated about not yet being able to arrange the funerals.
On Thursday, prosecutor Solani Baloyi told the Atteridgeville regional court a postmortem report and DNA results are outstanding.
Lindiwe Machaka, 39, is the grandmother to two of the children. Zanele Machaka, 37, is the mother of the three other children.
It is alleged that on August 27 the women locked the five children in their shack and went to a nearby tavern. The shack caught fire and the children died. The women were arrested at the tavern the same day.
The youngest of the victims was five months old, while the oldest was seven years.
The sisters face five counts of culpable homicide and child neglect, and were released under correctional supervision on Thursday. The court had granted them bail of R5,000 each but they were unable to raise the money.
An inquiry was instituted to determine if they were suitable candidates for supervisory release.
Magistrate Allan Cowan told them their correctional supervision conditions include they must not use drugs or alcohol and should not visit bars, casinos or clubs.
The accused, who will live in a relative's home in Mpumalanga, must report to community services in the area.
Outside court, Johanna Masongwane — whose son Johannes is the father of three of the children — expressed dissatisfaction about the pace of proceedings and the delay in the funerals.
“The children's bones are still at the mortuary,” Masongwane complained.
The matter has been postponed to November 16 for further investigation.
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