Mangaung: Horrified residents of Khayelitsha informal settlement near Bloemfontein were awoken by desperate screams of Tshepang Stefaans, whose shack was engulfed by a raging inferno in the early hours of Saturday, 02 September 2023.
Twenty–year–old Stefaans was asleep in her shack with her boyfriend, Koos Motlodi, aged 34 and their three–year–old child, Atlehang, when the raging blaze razed their fire. Sadly, Motlodi and their child, as well as Motlodi’s nephew Thapelo Motlodi, perished in the fire.
Yesterday, 04 September, the Acting Premier of the Free State province, MaQueen Letsoha–Mathae, visited the distraught family. The Acting – Premier was visibly distraught at the tragedy which took place in the impoverished community and said the government will, in a not – so – distant future, visit the area and bring other stakeholders.
“What transpired here was a tragedy of epic proportions, and we, on behalf of the caring government of the people by the people, wish to convey our sincere condolences to the families and friends of the victims.
There is clearly quite a lot to do here to improve the lives of our people. We have received worrying reports of rampant crime where hardened thugs actually shoot at police, said Premier.
The murder rate is also worryingly high, and one of the contributing factors is undocumented foreign nationals. This is unacceptable, and the government will not allow lawlessness and criminality to reign unabated,” Acting – Premier Letsoha–Mathae warned.
Drug and alcohol abuse is also rampant in the area and the Acting – Premier warned against excessive use of the substances, particularly by pregnant women.
Grief-stricken Tshepang Stefaans was immediately taken by social workers who will counsel her and assist her in obtaining an identity document. The Acting – Premier then headed to Botshabelo, Section D, where Thandi Mosotho was murdered, allegedly by her boyfriend, in the presence of her six–year–old child.
“Thugs are constantly attacking women. What kind of a coward butchers a helpless and defenceless woman in such a cruel and inhumane manner? Imagine the trauma that the child is going through, seeing the agonising pain and hearing the painful scream for help as she was being mercilessly killed.
We refuse to be silent when such brutality is unleashed on the women of our province,” she said. The Acting – Premier said the government will ensure that Thandi is afforded a dignified send-off.