June 20, 2023

Scorned lover burns himself and four kids after being rejected

Olona, Lilitha,Ayabonga, Thabang and Nqobile Njozela were burnt to death
Photos: Supplied

When he didn’t find his girlfriend at home, he went looking for her. Monaheng Moloi from Katlehong in Ekurhuleni allegedly found his girlfriend with another man and when he asked that she goes home with him, she rejected him. The fuming Moloi did the unthinkable. He allegedly later went to his girlfriend’s house, found four kids inside a shack and set the shack alight. The kids, Olona Njozela (10), Lilitha Njozela (7) Ayabonga (5) Thabang Njozela, and 4-year-old Nqobile Njozela, including Moloi were all burnt alive.


According to the family’s spokesperson Mfundo Lunika, the incident happened not long after he had just returned from work. "I had just come back from the taxi rank since I’m a driver and I was sitting in my shack. I asked my partner to prepare food for me so I could eat and sleep. As she was preparing the bed some boys passing by yelled that a shack was burning in our yard. When I went out to check, it dawned on me that four children were inside there," he said. He added that he pushed open the door and was met by a blaze. "The flame was too harsh and it was hard to gain entry. We tried to remove one side of the shack so we could gain access to the children but we still couldn’t go in. The father of one of the children went in trying to save the kids but he ended up being burnt. He is currently in ICU," he said. 


Lunika said the man who died in the fire had no child out of all the kids that have died. "Those four kids belong to my three sisters. Two of them were visiting for the long weekend and shared the same mother. This is just a mess. I’m traumatised and have flashbacks of my nephew and nieces lying lifeless yet I couldn’t even tell who’s who because they were burnt beyond recognition," Lunika said adding that, "at this point, playing the blame game won’t help anyone. I don’t even know if my sister and Monaheng were still dating. As far as I know, my sister did not sleep at home on Saturday night, when her boyfriend went to look for her he found her with another man. He told her to come home with him but she refused. So I suspect that what he did was out of retaliation or anger from being rejected."


Monaheng’s mother, Thabitha Moloi, said she last saw her son when she sent him to buy snuff for her but he never came back. "We were sitting together in the house when he told me that he was heading out but coming back soon. I asked him to go to the spaza and buy me snuff and he went. He didn’t come back and I wondered why he wasn’t coming back. Around 10 pm, I heard people yelling my name, saying I’m wanted a few streets away. When I got there I saw there was a shack burning. I’ve never been to that house before but I know who my son was dating because he often came with her. I’m shattered and still trying to process this."


Ekurhuleni EMS spokesperson Maswati Mdluli confirmed the incident. She said the team responded to a call of a burning shack just before 11pm on Sunday. "When we arrived the community had tried to put out the fire but it was burning rapidly, members managed to dampen the fire then a search was launched as we heard that there were possibly bodies in there. We found five bodies and four of them were kids, the eldest was 10. There was also an adult body, a 31-year-old but we are not sure whether it was a man or a woman. All the bodies were charred beyond recognition, they were scattered in two bedrooms. We are going to launch an investigation of our own as to what could have started the fire, " Mdluli added.

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