Young mom set alight in her car outside Benoni school has died: police

27 September 2021 - 18:03
By Alex Patrick
A Benoni woman whose partner set her, her cousin and himself alight after she dropped her child off at preschool has died from her injuries.
Image: Supplied A Benoni woman whose partner set her, her cousin and himself alight after she dropped her child off at preschool has died from her injuries.

The woman who was attacked and burnt outside her daughter's playschool in Benoni, Gauteng, has died from her injuries.

Police spokesperson Col Noxolo Kweza said the woman, 27, died last week. 

She was admitted to hospital on Monday September 13. Her cousin and her attacker, who has been arrested and formally charged, were also admitted.

Kweza said the woman's cousin, who was in the passenger seat of the torched vehicle, was released from hospital a few days later. She was not immediately able to confirm the condition of the 40-year-old attacker, amid rumours that he had also died of his injuries.

According to an ER24 statement at the time of the incident, medics on the scene said all three patients were treated and provided with advanced life support interventions before they were transported to nearby hospitals.

At the time, the owner of the Benoni preschool, who said she wouldn't comment further on the matter, said the woman had burns on her back, chest, face, hands and feet. The victim’s father had said she was in a “very bad” condition, she said.

Kweza said the initial attempted murder case had been upgraded to that of murder. A malicious damage to property case was also opened.

She said the perpetrator appeared in court in absentia. 

The event occurred at 6.20am when the mother dropped her daughter at the school. Her car was parked in front of the entrance to the school and her cousin was in the passenger seat.

When the woman exited the school her partner pulled up in his taxi. He ran towards the car as she closed the door and smashed her window with a hammer. He then ran back to his taxi to fetch a can of petrol.

The woman had opened her door but did not notice her partner running back with the petrol can. As he pushed the can into the driver’s door she pushed back and the petrol splashed on both of them. He then set fire to the inside of the car and the whole vehicle ignited. 

The injured woman ran across the road to an empty field. A nearby runner saw her and instructed her to “drop and roll”.

As the two women worked to put out the flames, the suspect got back into his taxi. He jumped the pavement and tried to run over the women, but they fled. He tried again.

A neighbour was able to stop the man and the women hid in the preschool. 

The man then jumped into the burning vehicle but re-emerged again only to drink from a battery in his vehicle before police and emergency services intervened.  

It is alleged that police were called to the couple's house the night before to quell a dispute.

At the time the preschool owner said the little girl — who had witnessed the entire ordeal — was receiving counselling. She said the other children and teachers would also receive counselling.