The Police in Ritavi outside Tzaneen have opened two counts of murder and Inquest after a 51-year-old man and his two daughters aged 09 and 13 burned to death in their house in Nkowankowa Township this morning at about 07h00.
The neighbors allegedly saw the house engulfed in flames and jumped over the wall fence in an attempt to rescue the occupants. They then broke one of the windows to get inside and in the process, managed to rescue the father who had already suffered from smoke inhalation. He died on the scene. The intense blaze and smoke forced them out.
The Police and Emergency personnel as well as fire fighters were immediately summoned to the scene and after the fire was extinguished, the burnt bodies of the two children were then found in separate rooms.
Preliminary police investigations revealed that the relationship between the deceased and his wife became strained and that they were separated for the past four years. The daughters were staying with the father in Nkowankowa while the mother was staying in Vhembe.
It is suspected the father set the house alight using a highly flammable substance.
The deceased was identified as Gledwin Mboweni and was employed by Statistics SA as its Acting District Manager in the Mopani District. His daughters were identified as Mikateko Tonia Mboweni (13) and Tsakane Tilda Mboweni (9).