A survivor from the Joburg shelter for abused women and children, who survived the deadly fire on Thursday, says she paid R10,000 once off for her small unit.

Simphiwe Zondo, who has stayed at the shelter for three years, was in her room with her four children when she heard screams of panic from people who alerted them that the Usindiso Shelter building she called home, was on fire.

The City-owned shelter was declared a hijacked building after it was hijacked after being leased to the Gauteng Department of Social Development, which used it is as a shelter for abused women and children.

Zondo, who is in her 40s and is originally from KwaZulu-Natal, was cautious when asked questions around the building being a hijacked building.

Zondo, who did not wish to be photographed, said she paid R10,000 to an unknown man for her small unit and never paid rent thereafter.

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