A desperate old man whose family has been terrorized by mysterious fires for the past two years is pleading for help.
Sobbing uncontrollably over the phone, Baretogetse Gaisang told of how the fires have plagued his family since the start of 2019.
The brutal blazes have destroyed their homes and property, leaving the family hopeless, homeless and at their wits end.
“The Voice, you are our last hope, please be our voice. We no longer understand,” cried the 63-year-old man.
So far the Gaisangs have sought help from several religious experts but the fires have continued unabated.
“We do not know how to get rid of these fires completely anymore because Eloyi church claimed to have stopped them. The prophets told us there is someone who wants to turn us into zombies, but our Sesarwa ancestors are protecting us. We are Basarwa; it is not easy for anyone to kill us through witchcraft, so they will rather torment us by making us homeless.”
The family are pleading for financial assistance to pay a powerful traditional doctor who can completely stop the seemingly supernatural fires.
“We are very poor so we need any help, food, clothes, shelter, and money,” said the old man, sending out his SOS after tragedy struck again on Saturday.
Another fire gutted the house they were accommodated in at Mmakgama lands where the family has lived for the past month.
“I stayed there with my three male children and all along we were fine. However, on Saturday I left Mmakgama lands for Mosu, and around 5 pm I got a report that the hut where my children slept got burnt down. The fires are following us, they are in our bodies,” said Gaisang.
Taking up the story, Gaisang’s wife, Bathantshi Moithobogi, 70, said luckily the inferno struck when her boys were not at home.
“Unfortunately they have now resorted to living in the bush and sleeping in an abandoned and dilapidated house out of fear,” said Moithobogi, who is currently accommodated by a boyfriend to one of her daughters.
“We ask for any help so the fires can stop. We are suffering and it’s the rainy season,” said the old woman.
The mysterious fires first hit the Gaisangs in January 2019, burning down four huts at the family’s’ Nokayabakala cattle post, causing them to flee to their Mosu home.
However, the flames struck again the next day, consuming three more huts in Mosu.
The government gave the family three tents but two caught fire.
Meanwhile, Mosu Village Chief, Philip Kopano confirmed knowledge of the Gaisang’s plight but distanced himself from it.
“I was not at work by the time the report came in and I do not know how bad the damage was. The Gaisang family are the only ones who can know what causes the fires,” said Chief Kopano.