A month after these siblings burnt to death, they’re yet to be buried

By Zodidi Dano

Exactly a month after toddler siblings Zaytoon Brandt, 8 months, and Zaynoora Brandt, 2, were killed in a blaze in their father’s backyard dwelling in Colorado Park, there is still no definite indication when they will be buried.

The scene of the deadly fire that claimed the lives of the toddlers.
The scene of the deadly fire that claimed the lives of the toddlers.

Ward councillor Joan Woodman said the family was struggling to raise money for the funeral and was waiting for the City of Cape Town to release funds into the account of the undertaker.

She said the city had just approved the request for assistance and the money would only reflect in the undertaker’s account around July 20-22.

Woodman said the family plans to bury the children on July 24 if all goes well.

“The delay started when the mother disappeared. She was away for over a week and DNA testing could not be done. We further had to secure R2500 from the Department of Social Development for payment for the testing to be done.”

In addition, Woodman said the family then alerted her after results came out that they did not have money for the burial.

“The mayor’s office agreed to help them, but it was a struggle to get the necessary documents. The request for burial also had to go through the mayoral committee because at the time the mayor was stripped of all executive powers.

“It’s been a long and lengthy process.”

The siblings had been left alone in the dwelling. It was confirmed that the father struggled with drug addiction.

The children’s paternal grandfather, Herald Adams, at the time of the incident, said his son knocked on their door that morning asking for money. He said they did not open for him.

“We thought he went to sleep, until we were woken by the blazing fire. We tried to fight the fire but it was too late for the girls.”

Shortly after their deaths, police arrested the father, Cameron Adams, 30, while the mother, Tashleema Brandt, later handed herself in to police.

In their second appearance at the Mitchells Plain Magistrate’s Court, Brandt was released on R500 bail, while the application for Adams was postponed to August, 6.

National Prosecuting Authority regional spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila said there were no grounds for the State to oppose Brandt’s bail.

“The State will oppose bail for Adams on the grounds that the accused has a pending case of rape. He may attempt to flee with these additional charges because the penalty is severe. He may interfere with witnesses related to him, and (bail will be opposed) for his own safety as the community is volatile and want to kill him.” –Cape Argus