Eastridge fire victims to be laid to rest

The funeral services for those who perished when their home caught fire in Eastridge will take place on Saturday June 25.

The service for Cameron, 6, and Elmarie, 5, Fredericks will be at Eastridge New Apostolic Church, followed by cremations.

The funeral for Joshua, 13, Kyle, 18, and Nikita, 3, Abrahams and Tamia Swartz, 2, will be at Lentegeur civic centre and they will be buried at Klip Road cemetery in Grassy Park.

The service for Alfonzo Swartz has not been confirmed as DNA tests are being conducted on the body.

Spokesperson for the families William Rezant said the Fredericks’ funeral would be followed by the service at the civic centre.

The eight family members died in a fire at their Macbeth Street home on Saturday June 11.

“The family members are still traumatised because of the lives that they lost and all their belongings,” said Mr Rezant.

MEC for Social Development, Albert Fritz, urged the community to unite and support the families. “I’m here representing provincial and national government. Government will ensure that they continue supporting the families even after the funeral by providing trauma counselling,” he said at a memorial service for the families held on Youth Day at Imperial Primary School.

Father of Cameron and Elmarie, Elton-John Fredericks, said he heard of the news while he was in Heidelberg. “They phoned me at 10am in the morning and told me about the tragedy. I was so shocked I couldn’t believe it. I came back the same day. I will miss them. They used to call me every day asking me when I’m going to come fetch them. I really appreciate what the community is doing for us,” he said.

Patrick Abrahams’ ex-wife, Verona Abrahams, was still recovering after being discharged from hospital last week Wednesday.

“I’m still shocked and devastated,” she said.

At the memorial service, five men who had risked their lives in an effort to save the other family members during the fire were applauded for their bravery and given a standing ovation by the community. The men, Avron Gertse, Leonard Jacobs, Mogamat Madatt, Jean Pierre Andrews and Zunaid Hendricks, lit a candle in memory of those who died. Mr Jacobs said when he saw the fire he was on his way from the shop. “I saw a big smoke and flames from the house. I ran to the house in an effort to save them. And we managed to take Kyle out but died later,” said Mr Jacobs.

Mr Andrews said he was woken up by his grandmother. “When I arrived there I opened the gate and pushed the car out. I couldn’t get inside the house because the fire was too big,” said Mr Andrews.

He described Kyle as his best friend. “I’m still not okay but I try to deal with it but it’s not easy. We grew up with Kyle. He taught me how to drive,” he said.