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Thief burns mother and 4-year-old son to death because she did not have money

By Mason White 10:10 AM November 6, 2015
Burned house illustration 

By: Feng Qian
A thief set a woman and her son on fire because she did not have money to give him.

Thabo Masuku, 36, of Gauteng, South Africa, said that his neighbor called him at work to inform him that his house was on fire.

“I ran home only to find my wife and 4-year-old son in an ambulance and severely burned,” Masuku said.

He followed them to a hospital, where his wife, Refiloe Gumbi, 30, told him what had happened. She said that a man entered their house with a knife, demanding money.

When she said that she had nothing, the man began beating her and the son. He then grabbed paraffin from her primus stove and poured it on her and her son before setting them on fire.

The mother and son were severely injured and their home burned down. Siyabonga, 4, died the next day at the hospital. The mother, desperately clung to life, but died a few days later.

Refiloe left behind a 6-month-old daughter named Blessing, who was hospitalized and treated for smoke inhalation. She is now being cared for by a neighbor.

She also left behind a 6-year-old daughter and 9-year-old son, who are being raised by their father.

Tembisa police spokesperson Constable Patricia Mgijima confirmed that police are investigating a case of double murder. So far, no arrests have been made.