Residents claimed Papa Mahlake (27) woke at midnight to perform what they believed may have been satanic rituals, praying loudly in a language that nobody understood, Daily Sun ZA reports.
It was gathered that it was during the satanic ritual in which he wore black clothes and light candles that the unfortunate incident happened. The residents also claimed they saw him placing what looked like a skull and black ashes near the candles.
However, the satanic ritual ended in great tragedy for the man.
Tenants said they heard him screaming and his shack burst into flames. The fire soon spread to three nearby shacks. Tenants tried to put out the fire but they were no match for the raging flames. Papa’s shack and three others around him were destroyed. The other tenants managed to escape but Papa was burnt to death.
The landlord, Stephen Mathebula (40), said he was at a friend’s place when he was told about the fire.
“My shack was one of those that was destroyed. We’ve lost everything,” he said.
He said he warned Papa to be careful. “He used to pray every night and he would light three candles. I feared he was going to burn our shacks because when he prayed you could hear things falling and he screamed as if he was being strangled,” said Stephen.
“His family promised to fetch his spirit and I wish they would do that now. I’m not working and I depend on the little money I make from renting out the shacks. What will happen if tenants start running away because they think the yard is haunted?”
Tenants have managed to rebuild their shacks but say they have nothing to help them start over, and some said they suspect the cause of the fire was a satanic ritual gone wrong.
‘That man used to act strangely and liked wearing black clothes. He sounded as if he was not at peace with himself. We pray that he finally finds peace wherever he is,” said a resident.
An inquest docket was opened at Boksburg Police Station, South Africa.