Ward committee member Mr Thomas Nevhutalu and Vhakoma Vho-Tshilidzi Tshinane assess the damage after the fire. 

Two toddlers perish in raging fire


All Ms Rendani Tshifaro wanted was a better life for herself and her family.

Even though there was no one working in the family, Tshifaro used the children's grant. Last week, the 30-year-old mother of two from Khumbe Zone 4 outside Thohoyandou left home and went to Pretoria for a job interview. She left her two children, Rialivhuwa (4) and Ompfunaho Tshifaro (3) in the care of her mother, Ms Elsie Mufamadi (49).

On Sunday, the mother left the grandchildren sleeping in the house and rushed to the place where she manufactures clay bricks for sale where a client was waiting.

Unlike other days, when the children were left with neighbours, they were left on their own. An observant neighbour, Ms Ķhuliso Nevhunama, said she noticed smoke coming from one of the rooms at about 10:30 on Sunday. "I rushed there, only to find that the whole house was on fire. We tried opening the doors, using spades, and we also broke the windows. We found the two kids lying on a sponge mattress. They were already dead, and I suspect they had died from smoke inhalation," she said.

She further indicated that firefighters and police arrived, but the whole house was completely gutted.

Ms Tshifaro had to leave everything she was doing in Pretoria and rush back home.

"I am still in shock. These kids played with mine and attended crèche together,” Ms Nevhunama said. “I just wonder why the grandmother did not leave them at my place as they usually did. We are putting everything in the hands of God to give the family strength in these difficult times,” she said.

Ward committee member Mr Thomas Nevhutalu said the incident had shocked them. "We will inform our ward councillor and hopefully the family will get assistance. She is left with nothing and we should help," he said.

Vhakoma Vho-Tshilidzi Tshinane said she was in church when she was informed about the tragedy. "As a community, we are still in shock. This has never happened before in this community, and we are very sad that two innocent lives have been lost. We are going to discuss the issue with the community and decide how we can help the family," she said.

Limpopo police spokesperson Lt-Col Moatshe Ngoepe confirmed the incident and said they were worried about the continuous acts of poor child safety. He said after receiving information about the incident, the police and firefighters reacted quickly but found the house already gutted with all its contents and the children had passed away.

"At this stage, the cause of the fire is not known, but our forensic teams will find out as investigations unfold. We are urging parents to put children’s safety first," said Ngoepe.


The two siblings, Rialivhuwa and Ompfunaho. who perished in the mysterious fire.

Local traditional leader Vhakoma Vho-Tshilidzi Tshinane and ward committee member Mr Thomas Nevhutalu sift through the burnt ashes in the house.


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Date:11 March 2018 - By: Elmon Tshikhudo

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.



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