Swazi Observer - - NATIONAL NEWS - Sto­ries by Starsky Mkhonta

AN elderly woman es­ti­mated to be in her 90s had a nar­row es­cape when a mys­te­ri­ous fire gut­ted down her house, re­duc­ing it into ashes.

Com­mu­nity mem­bers of Jab­u­lani/Mlambo area were re­lieved to hear that the old woman mirac­u­lously escaped un­hurt.

How­ever, they were wor­ried as to where she would be liv­ing as her house had been com­pletely de­stroyed. No one has a clue other than spec­u­la­tions as to what ex­actly hap­pened that led to the tworoom house of Gogo Bel­li­nah Kunene catch­ing fire in the wee hours of Wednes­day. Ar­son at­tack or can­dle left unat­tended is re­port­edly the spec­u­la­tion do­ing the rounds. The mat­ter has since been re­ported to the po­lice who are still in­ves­ti­gat­ing it.

It is said the old woman was wo­ken up by smoke and nearly fainted when re­al­is­ing that her house was up in flames.

It is said neigh­bours heard the old woman scream­ing for help and to their shock, they saw flames ac­com­pa­nied by smoke en­gulf­ing her homestead.


A neigh­bour iden­ti­fied as Nhlanhla Myeni heard the old woman’s screams and he rushed out of his house.

He was shocked upon re­al­is­ing that the alarm was from Gogo Kunene’s homestead and he rushed there.

It is said he cau­tiously jumped into the burn­ing house and pulled out the old woman who was un­able to find a way out of the house as it was en­gulfed by thick smoke.

An­other neigh­bour, Su­san Matse, said they were shocked by what be­fell the old woman and fur­ther thanked Myeni for his brav­ery.

“She sus­tained burns on the body as she strug­gled com­ing out. She was heard scream­ing and that was when Nhlanhla re­sponded,” said Matse.

Matse said Gogo Kunene’s items that were in­side the house were all burned to ashes.

“She only re­mained with what she was wear­ing and there was no way any­thing in­side could be sal­vaged as the flames were too huge.

We don’t have a clue on what ac­tu­ally caused the fire. Some sus­pect that a can­dle was left unat­tended,” said Matse.

Chief Po­lice In­for­ma­tion and Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Of­fi­cer Su­per­in­ten­dent Khu­lani Mamba con­firmed the in­ci­dent, adding that it was un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

NOTH­ING LEFT: The re­mains of Gogo Kunene’s house.

(Pics: Starsky Mkhonta)

HOME­LESS: Gogo Bel­li­nah Kunene whose house was razed down by fire while she was asleep in the wee hours of Wednes­day.

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