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News - Date: 08 September 2017
Written by: Elmon Tshikhudo / Viewed: 3590
The community of Tshisahulu outside Thohoyandou has been plunged into deep mourning and grief.
This comes after Gogo Phophi Ndwamato Manari (82), one of the most respectable elderly citizens in the village, burnt to death while trying to control a wayward fire.
According to information at this paper's disposal, the granny was with her two grandchildren, aged 9 and 13, at the Twelve Apostle Church of Africa around 15:00 where she had been given a piece of land to till. She was busy clearing the bushes when the fire got out of control and she sent the two grandchildren to seek help in the village. It is believed she was overcome by smoke and was burnt to death.
Many onlookers and the police have arrived at the scene, but officials of the government mortuary arrived in the evening to collect the body. At the scene, elderly members of the family, children of the deceased and the grandchildren kept vigil next to the charred body that was wrapped in a shawl.
The deceased's youngest son, Mr Avhapfani Manari, a teacher at Lwandani Secondary School at Tshusahulu, said he had taken a walk to his cousin's place at Riverside in the same village, when a call came through to inform him of the shocking incident. "As I had left my car at home, we used my cousin's car and rushed to the scene, where the worst was confirmed. There were people already and my mother's body was lying in burnt grasses with the fire spreading to other parts of the field. It was a very painful experience."
He said that his mother loved working and no one could convince her to stop. "She loved to keep herself busy by doing all sorts of jobs and farming was one of her passions," he said.
Manari further indicated that they were more saddened that she was with her two grandchildren. “We cannot hide the fact that we are deeply distraught, more so that the two grandchildren are not coping after seeing their grandmother in that state.”
Local community leader Mr Thomas Rambuwani, chairperson of the Tshisahulu New Stands Civic, also expressed his deep sadness at the granny's death. "We are deeply concerned and touched by this tragedy. The leadership and the ward councillor visited the family to offer our condolences. This tragedy could have been averted, had the fire services done their job of educating residents,” he added.
Limpopo police spokesperson. Lt-Col Moatshe Ngoepe confirmed the incident, adding that the police had opened an inquest docket.
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Family members at the scene of the tragedy watch as staff of the forensic services are inspecting the area where the gogo burnt to death.
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.