Donations halted for Alexandra fire victims after goods 'stolen'
The Gauteng provincial government has stopped accepting and distributing donations to victims of a disastrous fire that recently gutted part of Alexandra informal settlement, destroying about 500 shacks and displacing about 2,000 people.
The department of human settlements, cooperative governance and traditional affairs, together with the disaster management centre, had called off the need for further donations, the province said in a statement on Tuesday.
"This comes after the head of Gauteng provincial disaster management centre, Dr Elias Sithole, issued a statement thanking all stakeholders and citizens who immensely contributed towards the relief of the distressed victims of the fire in Alexandra which left hundreds homeless," said deputy director-general at the department of human settlements Keith Khoza.
Khoza said the project had since been marred by people wanting to take advantage of the plight of the victims.
He said the department had "noted with regret that although everyone has been assisted, there were unscrupulous individuals who are taking advantage of the situation by receiving loads of foodstuff, building material, blankets and mattresses for their own benefit.
"We are aware that there are certain people who use this opportunity to steal from stakeholders," he said.
"Any government official who will continue to request donations will be treated as someone who is abusing their power and we will call on law enforcement agencies to act and not hesitate to arrest anyone involved in criminal activities in the name of the department," warned Khoza.
The fire was suspected to have started as a revenge attack against a resident at informal settlement.
No one died as a result of the blaze but someone suspected to have been behind the fire was beaten by community leaders and later died from his injuries, said police.