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2 women due in court after 4 children killed in shack fire

Four children died in the blaze at their home in Alex at the weekend, after their mothers apparently left them locked in the house unattended.

Community members gathered near the site where four children died in a shack fire in Alexandra. Picture: Katleho Sekhotho/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Two women who left five children in a house that caught fire will appear in the Alexandra magistrates court on Tuesday morning.

Four children died in the blaze at their home in Alexandra at the weekend, after their mothers apparently left them locked in the house unattended.

It’s understood that the children, aged 2, 4, 6, and 7, sustained fatal burn wounds when a bed in the house caught fire from a heater which was left on.

One child died at the scene while the other three died in hospital.

The fifth child managed to escape.

The Gauteng government says that it is saddened at what’s happened and notes that children left unsupervised is a common occurrence in many communities.

Spokesperson for the Gauteng premier’s office, Mxolisi Xayiya, says it’s up to communities to create programmes to monitor areas.

“Certain behaviours are not actually allowed. Because there are no proper family structures in place. Anything else that’s a need the social workers are determining what forms of other assistance is required.”

Xayiya says assistance will be provided to the families.

Social Development MEC Nandi Mayathula-Khoza is set to visit the families of the children today.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)