Indian-Origin Family of 5 Dies After Suspected Arson in South Africa
Aziz Manjra, his wife and three children moved into their new home at Pietermaritzburg in South Africa only two weeks ago.
All five members of an Indian-origin family died when their new home was allegedly petrol-bombed by an unknown arsonist at Pietermaritzburg in South Africa on April 12. The incident happened less than two weeks after they moved into their new home.
Aziz Manjra, 46, an Indian who had lived in South Africa for the last 25 years, his wife Gori Bibi, also 46, and their children Mairoonisa, 14, Muhammad Rizwan, 10, and Zubina, 18, were all killed in the fire, reported IOL. The family hailed from Juna Diva village in Ankleshwar, Gujarat, and had been looking forward to living in their new house.
The police received a phone call regarding a house on fire during early morning hours, according to police spokesperson Sergeant Mthokozisi Ngobese. “After we received a complaint of arson, we went to the house and when we arrived the house was still on fire. We called the fire department to assist with the fire,” Ngobese said, News 24 reported.
When the police entered, they realized that there were bodies of five people inside, and all had succumbed to their burn injuries. “We are investigating the circumstances surrounding the matter. At this stage, there is evidence that a petrol bomb may have been thrown into the house,” Ngobese added. The police is now investigating a case of arson and five counts of murder.
The motive of the attack remains unknown as the police is trying to look for the suspects. The police said that they are not ruling out any possibilities of family members’ involvement in the incident. “We do not want to speculate anything at the moment,” Ngobese was quoted as saying in the report.
A petrol bomb was perhaps hurled through the lounge window, and the two younger children, who were asleep in a bedroom upstairs, may have died after inhaling smoke. The couple and their eldest daughter were trapped downstairs and suffered severe burns, to which they succumbed.
A neighbor, who did not want to be named, said that she woke up when, at around 2 am, she heard something close to footsteps on her roof. “Our homes are semi-detached and moments after hearing the footsteps, I heard a man screaming,” the neighbor said, according to IOL. She added that she came to realize that the screams could be heard from the top floor of her neighbor’s house.
“Shortly after 3 am emergency services arrived at the scene. The local fire department extinguished the fire. They found five people inside the house and brought them outside. Three adults and two people, believed to be children, were found with fatal injuries. Unfortunately, there was nothing that could be done for them and they were declared dead at the scene,” ER24 spokesperson, Werner Vermaak, said, according to the Mercury.