Send-off for family killed in Tafelsig fire

The family at the funeral on Friday August 6.

The funeral of three of the five family members who died in a fire in Tafelsig last month was at the Beacon Valley Baptist Church on Friday August 6.

Head pastor and community activist, Leon Jacobs from Kingdom Christian Church in Eastridge led the funeral service of grandmother Roseta Arendse, Franklin Pieters and Stephanie Muller.

The only survivor of the devastating blaze was two-year-old Zahier Muller, who lost his two sisters, his cousin, their grandmother and her boyfriend as the fire destroyed Ms Arendse’s wendy house at about 4am on Saturday July 24 (“Toddler loses family members in fire” Plainsman, July 28).

On Monday, Zahier was readmitted to hospital.

Mr Jacobs said the family needed counselling and all the help they could get.

Fifty people attended the funeral with 100 people outside of the building, observing all Covid-19 protocol.

Jeanne Clarke, said burying her mom, Roseta Arendse, her grandchildren, Franklin Peters and Stephanie Muller had been very emotional.

A janazah was held for Rabia Muller, who also died in the blaze, was held on Wednesday August 4, while Ms Arendse’s partner, Obin Van Wyk, is yet to be buried.

“The funeral was very emotional and sad. We can’t wrap our heads around it. We did not expect them to pass in this way and we are still broken,” said Ms Clarke.

“We are thankful to our Heavenly Father for the time we were able to spend with them and the memories we shared. Thank you to each and every person for opening their doors to us as a family. We thank you,” she said.

Sub-council 12 chairperson Solomon Philander said the community had rallied together to help the family.

“We were with the family since the first day. We walked alongside them on this journey,” he said.

Dynamic Cleaning Services had offered to pay for the DNA tests so that the bodies could be released for burial, said Mr Philander.

“The mayor’s office also assisted with Franklin’s burial,” said Mr Philander.

Pastor Dean Ford from Beacon Valley Baptist Church said they would like to help people during this difficult time.

“People go through so much during this time. If we can help in any way we will do that,” said Mr Ford.

“The community just came together without anybody saying anything. We assisted the family as much as we could. It’s Covid-19, it’s difficult. Not everyone can attend a funeral during this time. The family was grateful for the support,” he said.