Dead reed dancers’ families ‘still waiting for compensation’

2013-10-31 00:00

FAMILIES of the 11 young women who died when their bus crashed on the R66 near Melmoth, are still trying to come to terms with their loss.

The women had been returning to their homes in the Umzumbe Municipality near Port Shepstone after participating in the annual reed dance at Enyokeni Palace in Nongoma.

Families of the victims are still grieving their loss, but hope to find answers soon to all their questions.

The bus driver has not been charged.

Derrick Cele, a car guard outside Vida Caffe in Florida Road, Durban, was overcome with grief when asked about his daughter, who died in the accident.

“I am just not able to talk about the accident at the moment, but I am so grateful to all those who have helped me in my time of need,” said an upset Cele.

Samuel Myende, a teacher at Malukhakha Primary School, who lost his wife in the accident, said he is still waiting for the municipality to come through on their promises.

“I am still waiting for them to deliver on their promise to compensate us for the accident. All those affected were brought together and were told they would be compensated for the accident, but since then nothing has happened,” he said.

Myende (52) said his daughter was also in the bus at the time and had sustained serious injuries but survived.

“Badelise, who is now in Grade 11, will not be able to write her exams due to her injuries. She has suffered an injury to her head, which has left her unable to walk, talk or function normally. She has been discharged from hospital and is recuperating at home.”

Myende added that he had an uncanny feeling on the day his wife, who was the young women’s minder, left for the reed dance.

“I knew something terrible would happen, and this was God’s way of telling me my wife was going to leave me. I don’t want to put blame on anyone. What happened was meant to be,” he said.

According to the royal house spokesperson, Prince Mbonisi Zulu, the king had made various contributions to help all the families involved.

“His Majesty had donated the coffins and tombstones for those deceased and gave each family R5 000, one goat and one cow,” said Prince Zulu.

“We share a very good relationship with the Umzumbe Municipality so they keep us updated on how the families are doing and how they are coping.”

South African Police Service spokesperson Jay Naicker said there has been no progress on the case and no arrests have been made.

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