FRANCE Shabangu’s family has been left traumatised after he allegedly set his wife and two kids on fire on Tuesday, 10 November.
The 43-year-old from Zwelisha outside Mbombela in Mpumalanga, doused his children Karabo (11) and Nokubonga Shabangu (10) and wife Gladys Mokoena (45) in petrol before setting them alight, leading to the kids’ deaths on Friday 13 November.
His stepson Bongani Mokoena (23) said France killed himself after finding out the two kids had died on Friday.
Bongani rushed to the scene after receiving a call that his mum and two siblings had been burnt. But when he got there, they had already been taken to hospital and France had fled the scene.
“When I got there, everything was burnt. All I could see was my siblings’ burnt skin on the floor,” he said.
Bongani said France was behaving strangely on Tuesday after knocking off from work.
“We usually go home together after work, but on that day, he told me he needed to go do something. I suspect that was when he bought the petrol.”
Nokubonga and Karabo Shabangu both died in hospital after their father, France, set them alight on Tuesday.
Bongani said it pained him that he wasn’t there to protect his family.
“What hurts me most is that I couldn’t help my mother and siblings while they were in pain.”
He said his mum was seriously injured and was still in hospital.
Neighbour Thembalethu Nyalunga (23) said he heard screams and went to investigate.
“We rushed to the house, broke the door and found the man tightly holding his wife. We managed to take them out of the house and later rescued the kids, who were badly burnt.”
Thembalethu said while residents were helping the children, the father disappeared from the scene.
Mpumalanga police spokesman Colonel Donald Mdluli said cases of arson, attempted murder, murder and an inquest docket were opened.-Daily Sun