MOM ALSO DEAD AFTER DURBAN FIRE
DURBAN — The death toll from a fire that destroyed dozens of homes at the Foreman Road settlement in Durban has risen to three after a third family member died in hospital.
The mother of Sisipho Xulu, the twoyearold who was the first victim of the Sunday blaze that destroyed dozens of homes at the settlement in Clare Estate, Durban, succumbed to her injuries yesterday morning, police spokesperson LieutenantColonel Thembeka Mbhele said.
This brings the death toll from the fire to three after Sisipho’s father, Eric Mpanza, died on Monday afternoon, also in hospital. Authorities have yet to release the mother’s name. Nearly 1 000 people were displaced in the blaze on Sunday morning. “Our movement will stand with the family and the community during this very difficult time,” Abahlali baseMjondolo head S’bu Zikode said.
Zikode said members of the movement within the community were aiming to help rebuild the area. “We want to organise to fight future fires together and to work with the fire department, and to struggle against the oppressive conditions that leave some of us to die in shack fires while others sleep safely at night.”
The eThekwini Municipality was expected to foot the bill for the funeral costs of the child and mother, Zikode said. The municipality will erect a tent as a temporary shelter for residents.
A firefighter was assaulted and two firehoses were vandalised while fire crews battled the blaze on Sunday. Sydenham community policing forum member Satish Dhupelia said while the fire was being put out on Sunday someone had hit one of the firemen with a crowbar and “knocked him out”.
The attack on rescue officials caused a delay in firefighting. By the time the fire was extinguished, several people needed to be hospitalised.