• Home alone kids burnt to death as step-mum goes out boozing

Two young children locked in a house while their step-mum went out on a Christmas celebration, died of serious burns after a fire gutted the home in the Monarch area of Francistown.

GUTTED: The burnt out room where the tragedy occurred

The children were laid to rest in Maun on New Year’s Eve, whilst stepmother Kgalelalo Sambo, 44, faces a three-year jail sentence for child neglect.

Eye-witnesses to the tragic fire that killed two young children have talked of hearing terrifying screams as the children tried in vain to escape the locked house.

While a neighbour at the scene managed to rescue the children after battling through two locked doors, the two later died at Nyangabwe referral Hospital on separate dates after they were admitted with multiple burns.  The children Ellen (9) and George (5) were visiting their father at his Monarch home in Francistown for the Christmas holidays, and were left in the care of their step-mum Kgalelalo Sambo whilst their bus driver father was away on a trip.

Sambo who was detained and later released charged with child negligence told The Voice during an interview that although she normally drinks, on the day in question she never tasted any beer. She claims that she had merely accompanied friends on a drinking spree at a nearby shabeen when the incident occurred. “Yes, I had locked the children in the house for safety purposes and left with friends to a nearby drinking spot, but it is not true that I was drunk as police claim,” she said.

According to Sambo (44), the two children were asleep in a room that is normally used as a sitting room when the fire stuck. She also claims that when she left the house at around 8pm she had put out the paraffin lamp and locked the house for safety purposes

“I never left the light on. What I suspect is that they awoke in the dark and lit the lamp, which they must have knocked over somehow to cause the fire,” Sambo said explaining that it was not the first time she had left two children alone at home.

Regretting the accident, the mother of three grown up children said she never suspected that the youngsters would re-light the lamp causing the fire, which later claimed their lives. She said: “While I a

POLICE BOSS: Cyprian Magalila

m very sorry to the mum of the children and my boy-friend who was on a trip on the night in question, it was a tragic accident, not murder. I loved those kids like my own,” she said.
She told The Voice that George died the following day on the 23 December and Ellen who was doing standard three at Tawana Memorial Primary school, died five days later. The children were buried in Maun where they lived with their mother.

While she never knew their mum before, Sambo said she the woman was sympathetic to her regarding the death of her children. “She only cried when we met and also when she arrived at the scene, but I am thankful she managed to see that the incident was not deliberate. Even at the funeral she never made any threats to me unlike other people who later harassed me at the cemetery until I had to seek help at the Maun police station,” Sambo revealed.

She said she used her savings to buy one of the coffins and covered other expenses with her own money along with relatives of the children in Maun as her boyfriend was only doing a temporary job.
Neighbour and friend to the stepmother, Esinathi Gondo said: “I was with Sambo when the incident happened, but although we were nearby we arrived long after the children have been rushed to the hospital.”

DEAD: George and Ellen

She described how Sambo collapsed when she was told about the accident and revealed that a neighbour was the one who broke the burglar bars and door to remove the children from the burning house. She also revealed that the fire brigade officers came long after the children had been rushed to the hospital.

Central police superintendent Cyprian Magalila confirmed that they had detained Sambo, who they maintain had been drinking after leaving the children alone at home. He said she was released pending police investigations, but warned that the woman would be taken before a court of law for possible prosecution if police could establish that she had a case to answer.

He said four similar cases were reported last year in Francistown where children were left alone and had been trapped in burning buildings. He called upon residents to report to police cases of children left home alone for long periods since it was crime to leave underage children alone. Magalila explained that anyone convicted could face a minimum of three years imprisonment.

Leave a Reply

Please Login to comment
22 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
20 Comment authors
newest oldest most voted
Notify of

aooh innocent kids! she cud hv left the keys atleast, their soul will rest in peace.


I believe her. Accidents do happen.Even if she had been in the house, those kids if they woke up and lit the lamp and caused the fire, they still would have been terribly injured. The problem in our country is that we as parents are expected to be hostages of our kids even when they are supposed to be fast asleep. The other thing is that there are no baby sitting services that we can trust in our country. If you leave the kids with a baby sitter, worse things can happen.So poor lady wanted to take a walk with… Read more »


three years is too lenient for someone who just went on the booze


Rule No 1 Never leave children alone in the house until they are at an age where they take responsibility eg. 18 years etc.


No one would never take a good care of your children or anything EXCEPT you the owner. R.I.P


aoo shems////a mewa ya bone e robale ka kagiso

Ao bana ba modimo ga ba bona ngwaga…
May tha soul rest in peace… Tears

sethako se a thama

@ it is not true that I was drunk as police claim!! ..ele gore ke mang a aketsang yo mongwe fa. is it because the police can not identify someone who is drunk or is it that batswana re rata go ganetsa thata le dilo tse di obvious


TUBELESS………Your mind is a tubeless as you sound. What do you mean where was their father?……..Didnt you read the article?????????……….The man had gone to try and put bread on the table……DONT MAKE IT SOUND LIKE HE WAS IRRESPONSIBLE………

mis o

….rest in peace kids!!there is always a reason 4 evrythn that happens wth our lives,

easy tingz

bt hw c she switch off lights and go 4 boozin leavn children in da dark? ga ke dumalalne le ene,,,, le gale she s da one who knows hw da plan started and ended…cryin 4 lil angels…….

easy tingz

@Alexbeebee eish dat tubeless is real tubeless……….no comment

God needed two angels, rest in peace bo nnananyana.


@Alexbeebee I read the story and to me both parents of these kids were totally negligent and irresponsible. They should be the ones helping the police with investigations, or better still locked up. They trusted a total stranger with the welfare of their kids. They were not there for them, and why do they expect any better from this woman who was not committed to all three parties? You know what their answer will be when God asks them about these kids? It will be”I dont know”. And that is irresponsble. You know you have a problem of depth Alexbeebee.… Read more »


Poor little souls bathong, thr is nothing tht can b done se se diragetseng se diragetse n no one wl change it. tota in lyf no one knows wen nd how they r going to die, bana bao gongwe ke yone tsela e ba neng ba e beetswe gore ba tla tsamaya ka yone. thr is no nid of pointing fingers. may their souls rest in peace.


Ke sone se o bonang go se na di restaurant tse di rekisang dijo tsa setswana. Batswana ba ja mo dintshong and le ha batsadi ba latlheletse bana ba bona mo lesong, go tla a nna gotwe ke go rata ga Modimo. Modimo ga a kake a neela batsadi bana, gore ba helle ba tlhokomelwa ke ditsala le dinyatsi. Mo setswaneng ga re na lehoko la step-mother. So what is this woman to these kids if she is not someone hired to neglect them? Batho ba ta nna ba re Modimo o laotse gore bana ba shele mo ntong. Mme… Read more »


Rarefri, stop insulting batswana. no one ever wishes that people die so that they may have a meal. ga ke itse gore ke eng o inyenyafatsa mo go kalo kalo becos i assume u r also a motswana. do u also wish for people to die so that u may have traditional meals? come on! i know that even the most poverty striken motswana will not wish that on his or her neighbour.

as for the little children incident, all i can say is that it was really unfortunate, and may their souls rest in peace.


Ga ke rate bo step mummy because 90% of them are full of sh**t. O tlogela bana kana ga se ba gagwe o ya bojalweng. Thats nonsense


hei batsadi ba bangwe!!!!!! tota ekare gole xmas motho a ba a isa bana ko stepmother, batho ga ba rate bana ba bone itsjo!.
A mewa ya bone e robale ka kagiso



nna ke bone tanti fela fa motseng wa teng..n i thot gore ke leso la mogolo sadness i hear that rumours….waitse basadi ba dira dilo…se se thomolang pelo ke gore ke bana…mosadi yo o dirile ka bomo ga e kaeke are a setse le bana ba nnye a bo a ba tlogela knowing gore ke ene yo osetseng le bone…mosadi wa modimo bua fela gore o ne o batla gore tlhokomele e sale le wena le wena le ur kids…n 2 tel u …badira ka wena tsene ka kgoro ya legodimo…ga o swabe le go swaba…


borre le lona stop trusting any woman with ur kids more especially e se ba gagwe rre yo o ka bo a busitse bana fa a ya triping dilo ga di itsiwe


heartbreakin….may their soul rest in peace