Man who sets his family on fire, commits suicide

MPUMALANGA, South Africa – Two children in Zwelisha, Mpumalanga have died while their mother is fighting for her life in hospital after their father set them on fire, before committing suicide, the South African Police Service said on Monday.

“A woman is fighting for her life in hospital after she was allegedly torched together with her two daughters by her 43-year-old husband who was later found dead in what is alleged to be a suicide. The sad incident occurred at Zwelisha [Pienaar] outside Nelspruit,” Mpumalanga SAPS spokesman Colonel Donald Mdhluli said.

“According to reports, in the evening of Tuesday, 10 November 2020, the man and his wife had a heated argument subsequent to which he poured petrol at their rented room, set it alight with the three inside. The man then went into hiding whilst neighbours came to the rescue of the victims and took them to hospital for treatment with severe burn wounds.”

Police were notified about the incident and a manhunt was immediately launched for the suspect.

“Unfortunately, Karabo Shabangu as well as Nokubonga Shabangu, aged nine and eleven succumbed to their injuries in hospital last week … After news broke of their untimely death, the man was found on Friday hanging under a tree next to his parent’s house,” said Mdhluli.

“The police and the medical personnel were informed about the matter and upon arrival at the scene, the man was certified dead. Police are investigating two counts of murder, attempted murder, arson as well as an inquest.”

Police in Mpumalanga condemned the incident and urged the public to seek assistance from social workers when facing challenges in their relationships, rather than resorting to ending their lives or those of their loved ones.

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