A mother died saving her daughter from a burning shack that was allegedly set alight by her boyfriend who is also the father of the child.
The woman was rushed to hospital but did not make it. Before succumbing to her injuries, she had managed to save their 6-year-old daughter, who only suffered scratches.
Her boyfriend sustained minor injuries and is behind bars.
The incident happened in Kwaggafontein, Mpumalanga, last week.
According to Moeti Mmusi, a spokesperson for the Department of Community Safety, Security and Liaison, the couple had an argument.
Mmusi said it was not yet known what the argument was about, but he alleged the man doused the shack with petrol and set it aflame.
“The woman was able to protect the child, but she succumbed to burn wounds.
“The man, who is the biological father of the child, also sustained burn injuries. He tried to flee, but was apprehended and taken to hospital.
“He was treated and discharged and appeared in court and will be back on August 28 for a bail application,” Mmusi said.
Community Safety, Security and Liaison MEC Gabisile Shabalala applauded the community who responded when they were rallied to the scene, and he also lauded the police for swiftly bringing the suspect to book.
Shabalala called on women to not stay in abusive relationships, saying that people who experienced challenges in their unions should seek help before it was too late.
“Women should not stay in abusive relationships, they should seek help before it is too late or end up paying with their lives. Communities should also speak out when they witness abuse,” she said.
Shabalala said that while the government continued to put in place practical measures to fight the scourge of gender-based-violence, communities remained critical partners because everybody should play a role to ensure the protection of women and children.
She also called on the police to ensure abuse cases were thoroughly investigated so that perpetrators were punished.
With increased conviction rates, she said, more communities would be inspired to work with the government in the fight against abuse.