A 78-YEAR-OLD gogo and her nine grandkids are stranded after a drunk man mistakenly set their two-roomed shack on fire.

Gogo Neli Luthuli from Umlazi J section, south of Durban, and her grandkids were rescued from the flames by neighbours on Saturday night.

Gogo told Daily Sun she and her grandkids were asleep at about 11pm when she heard people shouting.

She woke up and saw flames in the room where her grandkids, aged between six and 29, were sleeping.

Gogo rushed to the other room and woke her grandkids. She said neighbours helped her get the younger kids out.

They lost everything including clothes and food. She said the damage amounted to almost R50 000.

The debris left after a fire razed gogo Neli Luthuli’s shack. Photo by Willem Phungula

Neighbours told her they saw the drunk man setting the house on fire.

She didn’t open a case. The man’s family said they’ll pay because he was drunk, and they didn’t think he did it intentionally.

“We appeal for help. We’d appreciate any assistance, especially clothes. I fear that my grandchildren will catch flu from the cold since it’s winter,” said the gogo.

She said they were squatting with neighbours and didn’t know for how long as she had no money.

They all survive on her pension.

Her ID was lost in the fire, so she won’t get her grant this month.

Ward 78 Councillor Melta Zuma said she’d send the ward committee chairman because she was in Pietermaritzburg.

Councillor Thanduxolo Sabelo, who’s the infrastructure head at the eThekwini Municipality, said he’ll liaise with his human settlements officials to see how gogo may be helped.