Memorial service for elderly fire victims

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Pretoria - A memorial service for the elderly who were killed in a fire at the Pieter Wessels Old Age Home in Nigel, Ekurhuleni, will be held later today.

Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane, Health and Social Development MEC Qedani Mahlangu and Ekurhuleni Mayor Ntombi Mekgwe will be attending the service, which will be held at 12pm at the Nigel Hall.

Chaos erupted at the old age home on Sunday night when a fire broke out. The Gauteng Department of Health and Social Development said the number of fatalities had now increased to 23, 18 initially and four thereafter.

The latest victim died on Wednesday evening at Pholosong Hospital.

The provincial government said it was doing everything in its power to assist the victims and their families to deal with the disaster and had offered services including counseling to the survivors, their families and the families of the deceased.

Survivors of the fire have been transferred to the Zanele Mbeki Home as well as the Nigel Old Age Home, with arrangements being made for transfers to further old age homes.

Officials have urged the public to come on board and assist the elderly as they battle to deal with the trauma and to rebuild their lives.

Financial donations can be deposited at Absa Bank, Account name: TC Adra, Account number: 1001390755, Branch code: 334143, reference: P Wessels FCC. Interested donors can also contact Pastor Louis Gouws on (016) 342-0308.