About 2,000 people are homeless after a fire spread across Johannesburg’s Alexandra township and destroyed their shacks on Thursday afternoon.
More than 600 shacks were destroyed in the blaze.
TimesLIVE reported that angry community members cornered a man they suspected had started the fire. The crowd meted out mob justice, severely beating the man who later died in hospital.
Residents allege that the fire was started as a revenge attack.
A woman who spoke to eNCA after the blaze described the incident.
“Those guys who were fighting … came here to pay a revenge and then they apparently burnt one shack. Unfortunately, it affected all the shacks around here.”
Police have opened a case of murder and are investigating the origins of the fire.
Nonprofit organisation Gift of the Givers was among the first to offer support to the residents, handing out food and blankets to displaced families.
Gift of the Givers also helped to move women and children to a community centre where they will live temporarily.
There have been no reports of injuries or deaths directly linked to the blaze, but many families lost everything they own.
According to the Sandton Chronicle, the Sandton Fire Station is the designated drop-off location for donations to help the residents of Alexandra.
Essential items that will make a difference include blankets, food and sanitary towels.
Clothing for people of all ages is much-needed as victims were left with only the clothes they were wearing.
People who want to help may contact Gift of the Givers.
BY NTOKOZO MIYA – TimesLIVE
Source: TMG Digital