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Nuus
Mother tells of her loss

The only thing left to Bongeka Mhlawuli (27) of her bubbly children is the memory of greeting them before leaving for work.

On 10 November, as per usual, she greeted her partner Andile Mangoli (32), their 2-year-old son, 9-month-old daughter and 9-year-old niece when she left for her night-shift security guard job.

But that would be the last time she would ever see her family.

According to neighbours, a fire broke out at the couple’s home, a structure in a backyard, at around 21:30 in which all four passed away.

Family friend Sandile Qupe said the fire spread quickly.

“We could do nothing but just stand helplessly watching the home burn down and hearing the agonised screams of the children, which I still cannot get out of my mind. I could do nothing. And neither could their father.”

Mangoli perished in the fire along with the three children, and they were all burnt beyond recognition. “We had to retrieve some of their remains with a shovel,” Qupe added.

Mhlawuli said the hardest part is knowing how the children suffered while no one could do anything.

Amid her grief-stricken tears she told Weskus Nuus the only thing left of her children is the memory of greeting them before she left for work.

Weskus Nuus is grateful to Pick n Pay, the Atlantis Old Boys’ Club, Capitec Atlantis, Atlantis Book Shop and Radio Atlantis, which assisted Mhlawuli, who lost everything.

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