Mom won’t return to place of inferno

A woman from Mesiya in Samora Machel is appealing to community leaders to relocate her to another area to rebuild her shack after it was burned down in June this year.

Magaret Tyhalani (42) was the only survivor in a shack fire that killed her four children and her nephew.

She was hospitalised after suffering minor injuries but discharged later the same day.

Tyhalani, who is left with only her oldest daughter Nangomso Tyhalani (19), stays at Marikana in Lower Crossroad.

Nangamso was lucky to escape being burned to death because she was looking after a neighbour’s shack, who was in the Eastern Cape.

The cause of the fire is still unknown.

Her children included Vukile Tyhalani (12), Siyahluma Tyhalani (13), Lunje and Lithemba Tyhalani, her six month old twins, and Lunathi Filtani (11), her nephew.

“Ever since I was discharged from hospital in June, I came straight here (Marikana).

“I don’t want to stay in Mesiya anymore. Even today I don’t believe that my children are gone. So, going back to Mesiya will bring back all the bad memories,” she sobbed.

She said she wished she could stay in an area where nobody knows her.

“I don’t think I will ever go back there again. I don’t even want to see the people I was staying with, because I hate the fact that they feel pity for me.

“I am willing to stay anywhere but here,” she said.

Tyhalani said she is worried because her younger sister (who she is currently staying with) is selling her shack in Marikana because of her personal problems­.

She said the counselling didn’t really help her.

“I did receive counselling from social workers in Centane, Eastern Cape after their burial. And also when I arrived in Cape Town, members of the Zion Christian Church (ZCC) arranged another counselling (session) for me, to no avail,” she said.

Kosovo Informal Settlement community leader Patrick Ngqu said, as community leaders, they understood Tyhalani’s plight and are willing to assist her.

However, he stated that his concern is a space and services for Tyhalani­.

“There is no open space in Kosovo, where she can build her shack and the Human Settlement Department has already done the audit in preparation for development in the area.

“It will be difficult for her to get another place. Only if she can ask if someone else has enough space on their yard, then she can build there and share electricity costs with them,” he said.

Ngqu said Tyhalani can look for a place where she can build her shack and inform close community leaders in that area and they will assist them.

Nangamso, her daughter, who is studying towards a nursing course at the University of the Western Cape, said the death of her siblings still haunts her.

“When I think of them at night my heart beats so fast. Sometimes, it happens when I am at work, especially during the break ... They just come to my mind. And when I come back to work I become moody,” she said.

She works at Groote Schuur Hospital.

She reiterated her mother’s sentiments that she doesn’t want to return to Mesiya anymore.