Benjamin Ratshipanaga shows the beds destroyed by the mysterious fire.

Family attacked by mystery fire.


A mysterious fire that erupts without warning has been terrorising the Ratshipanga family of Tshiozwi. The poor family has lost a number of their belongings in the sporadic fires and are now appealing to members of the community to assist.

The fire first broke out at the house of Mr Benjamin Ratshipanga last Monday (7th). According to his daughter, Rhinete, the fire started soon after she had chased away a dog that was carrying around a tin of snuff. The mysterious fire erupted and her clothes caught fire. Fortunately it did not burn her skin. The following day the incident repeated itself, although this time it occurred when no one was inside the room. "I suddenly saw dark smoke coming from the other room. When we went to that room, we found that the clothes, furniture and food were on fire,” says Benjamin.

Firefighters from the Makhado Municipality arrived on the scene on Tuesday morning and managed to put out the fire, but not long after they left, the fire erupted again. On Wednesday, the Makhado Municipality delivered food parcels and blankets to the family. Later that same day, the fire started again and destroyed some of the blankets. Several valuable household items were also damaged by the fire. These include sofas, clothes, a stove, fridge, beds and even food.

The unemployed Benjamin says he never thought something like this would happen in his house: "I am stunned, because people claim it can happen if you have debts or have a grudge against somebody." According to him, he does not harbour grudges against anybody.  He appealed to people to come and pray for the family, so that the fire can stop.

A religious leader, Alpheus Mudau of True Worshipper Christian Centre, appealed to the community to help the Ratshipanga family. Mudau called upon pastors to pray for the family who are having sleepless nights because of this fire. The Limpopo Traditional Health Practitioner's General Secretary, Mbulaheni Neluvhola, said they would also investigate if there were any of their members who might be supplying people with the type of concoctions that could cause such fires.

Tshilwavhusiku SAPS spokesperson Const Godwin Mahuwa confirmed that a fire had erupted at the Ratshipanga family's home. Mahuwa said they would send their experts to investigate.

Benjamin appealed to people who want to help with food, clothes or any other goods to call him at 0726050889.

Rhinete Ratshipanga (20) holds a piece of clothing that caught fire. Fortunately, her skin was not burnt by the fire.

Date:21 November 2011

By: Kaizer Nengovhela

Kaizer Nengovhela started writing stories for Limpopo Mirror in 2000. Prior to that he had a five year stint at Phala-Phala FM as sports presenter. In 2005 Kaizer received an award from the province's premier as Best Sports Presenter. The same year he was also nominated as Best Sports Reporter by the Makhado Municipality. Kaizer was awarded the Mathatha Tsedu award in 2014.

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