Villagio Mall owner in custody

Two South Africans died when a fire broke out at the Villaggio Mall in Doha, Qatar.

Security cleared the entrance to the Villaggio Mall in Doha, Qatar. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - The father of one of the South Africans killed in the deadly mall fire in Qatar on Monday welcomed Tuesday's news that the owner of the Villagio Mall and several other mall officials were taken into custody.

29-year-old Shameega Charles and toddler Umer Emeran, both from Cape Town, were among the 19 people killed when the blaze broke out at the daycare centre of the Villaggio Mall in Doha.

The deceased were laid to rest on Tuesday, according to Muslim rites.

Qatar's Attorney General ordered the arrest of the owner of the mall, while officials and the director of security were also detained.

Shameega's father Faiek Charles told Eyewitness News that he demanded answers.

"The ambassador told me yesterday afternoon after the funeral that I mustn't worry he will inform me of what is happening."

Shameega worked at the daycare centre based in the mall where the fire broke out.

Other victims included Japanese, Spanish, Filipino, European and Arab citizens.

Shameega had celebrated her 29th birthday on Saturday and her family had all gathered in their Mitchell's Plain home to celebrate with her via Skype.

But her father said little did they know it would be her last.

"It was very happy. We normally Skype with her. We wished her happy birthday."

The other South African victim was 15-month-old Umar Emeran, from the Bo-Kaap.

Umar's grandfather Goosain Emeran said that they were planning a memorial service for the toddler in Cape Town on Tuesday.

"The family are still in shock. My heart goes out to them."

The fire started in the nursery and firefighters had to break through the roof to get to trapped children after a staircase to the first floor collapsed.

A total of 13 children were among the 19 who were killed in the blaze.