Police urge parents not to leave children unattended

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Parents and guardians have been urged not to leave their children unattended after an incident where a three-year-old girl died in a house fire.

“Reports indicate that the victim and her siblings aged seven and nine, were left alone by their mother in the shack where they stay. When she returned home, she found the shack engulfed in flames and immediately called for help. The other two children managed to escape the fire unharmed, except the three-year-old,” said the South African Police Services (SAPS) on Tuesday.

A case of culpable homicide was opened against the woman with an additional charge of child neglect.

The incident happened on Monday evening at Siyathuthuka township in Belfast.

Meanwhile, a similar incident occurred last week  where two young girls, aged seven and eight, burned to death in a house fire.

The two children who are said to be cousins, were asleep in the house at Jerusalem near White River whilst their parents were away.

“Their uncle was visiting neighbours at the time and it is said that he was notified by one of the neighbours that a spotlight at the house where the children were asleep, was off. He then went to investigate and on his arrival, he realised that the bedroom where the girls were was on fire.”

He reportedly called other neighbours to assist to extinguish the fire, however the flames were too intense and the girls perished in the fire.

An inquest case is currently being probed and a charge of child neglect will be added.

In another incident, a 23-year-old woman was recently arrested in Bushbuckridge for child neglect, after she reportedly left her three children, aged four, five as well as a nine-month old baby unattended between the evening of Friday, 9 April and the morning of Saturday, 10 April 2021.

Her family then thought that she was missing and the matter was brought before the attention of police.

The woman was later found at a tavern.

“A case was opened against her and she was arrested, appeared before court on Monday where her case was remanded until Thursday, 22 April 2021 for bail application.



Police management in the province urge parents as well as guardians to play their role in order to prevent such incidents from occurring,” said Colonel Donald Mdhluli.