Family, friends and a blanket of encouragement for May

2013-10-09 00:00

SANELE May threw himself into the arms of relatives as he left the dock at court in Pinetown after his case was adjounred to Wednesday next week.

Hugs and words of encouragement were abundant as May was walked away to his holding cell.

“Woza baba [come man],” a police officer called to him as another person spread their arms to embrace him.

Overcome by misery, May could only sob, holding onto a blanket he had wrapped himself in.

The “blanket of hope” is covered in uplifting messages and was given to him by his supporters.

May appeared in court yesterday for his bail application after being charged with 23 counts of murder and reckless driving after last month’s fatal Field’s Hill accident.

However, the matter was adjourned to October 16 after his advocate, Louis Barnard, told the court that they were only given the investigating officer’s statement yesterday morning and needed time to study certain issues it raises. He said they would finalise the matter in a week.

May sobbed and wiped his tears with his blanket when the magistrate asked if he understood what was said in court. He nodded his head vigorously.

Sabelo and Mduduzi Sibandze, May’s relatives who drove from Swaziland to support their cousin, occupied the front bench, joined by the founder of the Sanele May Support Group on Facebook, Peach Piche.

Many of his supporters, who prayed outside court before the proceedings started, were disappointed when they could not find seats in the gallery.

Speaking outside court, Sabelo Sibandze, a high school principal in Swaziland, was distraught at the sight of his cousin. It was the first time he had seen May since the accident. He said the situation was “so hard” that he found himself crying.

“The pressure is too much. He’s failing to take the pressure. I also couldn’t take it,” Sibandze said.

He believes that truck company Sagekal Logistics, which owns the vehicle involved in the accident, should also face charges.

“It’s difficult to believe that the truck company is perfect and he’s the only one now to face the difficult situation.”

Thanking May’s supporters for their help, the Sibandzes sent condolences to the families of the accident victims and said they would like to visit them too.

“It was an accident that could have befallen anybody. No one can wake up in the morning and aim to kill a large number of people. He never aimed to kill anybody. He came to South Africa to try life here as we all do.”

Sibandze described May as a responsible person, down-to-earth and respectful.

He said hardship had driven his cousin to South Africa to look for a job.

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