Gogo dies in fire while praying for missing son

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By Doreen Mokgolo

Lizbeth Sello, a 73-year-old pensioner from Dladla Village in Tsakani, has died in a fire during her midnight prayers for Thomas Sello, her missing son.

For over 30 years, Lizbeth lived alone, praying daily in the early hours for her son’s return, and lighting a candle as part of her ritual.

It is suspected that the fire was caused by the candle, as Lizbeth didn’t have a stove or other electrical appliances.

A resident on his way to work in the early morning saw smoke coming from Lizbeth’s house and called for help to extinguish the fire.

Her friend, Mary Matshela, said Lizbeth’s paraffin stove had exploded earlier this year and her electric stove had been abandoned years ago due to electrical shocks.

Lizbeth only ate takeaways, often buying potato chips and fried chicken, and even received hot water from Mary for tea on Sunday afternoons.

Mary shared that Lizbeth was still very worried about her son Thomas, who went missing over 30 years ago.

“She used to sit through the night thinking about him and would wake up in the early hours to pray for his safe return,” said Mary.

“All she ever wanted was for her son to return home before she died, but now her worst fear has come to pass.”

Lizbeth’s brother Ntlalentwa Sello said he received the tragic news early in the morning.

“Parts of her body are burned, but I feel she died from smoke inhalation as some of her belongings close to her body are not damaged,” he said.

Tsakani police spokesperson, Warrant Officer Lebogang Ramaese, said that an inquest has been opened and investigations are underway.

Pictured above: Mary Matshela.

Source: Doreen Mokgolo


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