Patricia de Lille, the Minister for Social Development in the Western Cape, says that claims suggesting that Endinako and Lihle Fambane, who were two and three years old respectively, were victims of arson are extremely disturbing. "I want to urge members of the Philippi community to assist the police in getting to the bottom of what caused their deaths," Minister de Lille says.
The two toddlers were asleep in their Philippi shack on Thursday when the fire gutted it. Their mother was apparently out at the time. "I would like to extend my condolences to the family of Endinako and Lihle. I find it extremely difficult to get my head around the possibility that someone could knowingly set fire to a shack in which two beautiful children lie sleeping," says de Lille.
"I would like to call on the community to work with the police to find the truth and put this disturbing claim to rest." Citing the two Paarl toddlers' train accident on Wednesday, the Minister says, "more has to be done to educate parents, guardians and communities about the supervision of our children".
The Minister says social workers from the Department of Social Development in the Western Cape were dispatched to offer trauma counselling to the families affected by both incidents. "In both cases there will be a long and painful process of healing," says the Minister.