HEARTBREAKING scenes unfolded in Reagile, near Koster in the North West, as the coffins of seven victims of an alleged arson attack were lowered into their graves yesterday.

Along with the tears of sad mourners came emotional pleas from speaker after speaker for women to speak out against domestic abuse.


The 49-year-old suspect – who is in police custody for questioning – allegedly poured petrol in the shack belonging to the family after his girlfriend, Mammy Mwale, ended their relationshipmourners


Neighbours and residents said the couple’s relationship had been rocky for the past year, and that the suspect had made threats that he would kill her.

Kim Medupe, the mayor of Kgetleng Rivier Municipality, condemned the killings, saying: “Let’s get back to basics. This happened during Human Rights month. We have to stand up.”

She promised to build a house for the remaining members of the family with the social development department.

Education circuit manager for the municipality, Lerato Mekgwe, asked mourners to break the silence and talk about abuse.

“I became a victim when I was shot in the throat by my ex-husband. Let’s not let our kids suffer,” she said.

While there were separate coffins for all the remains, the family had to pour the ashes in all the graves as it was not possible to identify the dead from the charred remains after the blaze on 7 March.

The dead were Mojaki (74), Christina (36), Abram (15), Samantha (12), Refilwe (10), Ofentse (8) and Precious (3).

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