Ms Nditsheni Muhadi (left) and Cllr Melta Rasendedza photographed at the damaged house.
A woman's hard labour to build herself a decent house went up in smoke when a relative allegedly set the house on fire and destroyed all its contents.
Ms Nditsheni Muhadi (40) of Khumbe Tshalovha outside Thohoyandou started building her dream three-room house in 2008 out of her savings. She only managed to finish it this year in March, nine years later.
Moving into the new house left a wonderful feeling of accomplishment for the mother of three. Her happiness was short-lived as the house she treasured most with all its contents valued at more than R200 000 was completely gutted by fire this week.
The incident happened on Wednesday (26 July) evening at around 20:00 when a man related to her who stayed with her, allegedly set the house on fire.
The incident has not only shocked the owner, but even neighbours who came in their numbers to offer her support. According to Muhadi, the man came home at around 20:00 and asked for food. "I was in the main house when he came and asked for food. I told him to get in the main house and fetch the food, but he refused and remained outside. After a few minutes, we heard breaking glass and on closer inspection saw him throwing a burning object through the broken window. We dashed for safety as the house caught fire.”
She said that they ran to the nearby satellite police station, but unfortunately there were no officials at the station. With the help of villagers, they managed to get hold of the police, who arrived with firefighters. “They couldn't save the situation; the whole house with all its contents, including the separate outside room used by the man, was totally destoyed,” she said.
She said that she lost everything and was only left with only the clothes she was wearing “and even the school books belonging to my child were burnt.”
Thulamela ward 33 councillor Ms Melta Rasendedza, who visited the family, said she was also in shock. "We have already activated our disaster unit and we will be making sure that they get food and temporary shelter as a short-term solution. We are also calling upon good Samaritans to come on board that we help the family," she said.
Rofhiwa Muhadi (28) was arrested about the incident. He appeared in court on Tuesday on a charge of arson. The case was postponed and he remains in custody.
Date:07 August 2017 - By: Elmon Tshikhudo
Elmon Tshikhudo started off as a photographer. He developed an interest in writing and started submitting articles to local as well as national publications. He became part of the Limpopo Mirror family in 2005 and has since been a familiar name among the newspaper's readers.