Mixed ideas on memorial at Field’s Hill crash site

2014-01-02 00:00

THE white crosses erected at the site of the Field’s Hill tragedy are falling apart, but authorities have said they are open to proposals of a permanent memorial to mark the 24 people killed at the site.

The crosses are technically illegal and while the KZN Department of Transport will not remove them “due to the sensitivity of the matter”, spokesperson Kwanele Ncalane said they will not maintain the informal memorial.

On September 5, a truck driven by Swazi national Sanele May (23) ploughed into four minibus taxis and two cars at an intersection at the bottom of Field’s Hill on the M13 in Pinetown. Twenty-two people were killed on the scene and two later died due to their injuries. May, who allegedly had no licence and was working in the country illegally, faces 24 murder charges.

The crosses were erected by responding paramedics. “The side of the road is classified as a road reserve and no structure can be erected without the permission of the department. The reserve area plays a vital role in emergencies or it is used to widen a particular stretch of road,” explained Ncalane.

But he said the significance of the Field’s Hill accident “should not be forgotten”.

“It was the single biggest roadside accident in KZN and it has left a devastating impact on several families and the public. We will support any formal initiative to help remember those who died and create a place where people can pay their respects,” he said.

May, who spent his 23rd birthday behind bars on December 23, has continued to receive support from the Pinetown-based Sanele May Support Group. The group’s founder, Peach Piche, said the white cross memorial has elicited mixed emotions from the victims of the accident.

“Out of respect for the families who lost loved ones the large white crosses originally placed on the scene have been removed. There are cultural reasons as well as emotional needs as to why they were taken down,” said Piche.

She said before any memorial could be built, the affected families would need to be consulted.

Friend of a victim, Nkosinathi Zondo, visiting the site, said he would want the site to be treated with greater respect and dignity. “It marks such a sad period for all of us and the site must be respected. I hope a decision is taken on how best to remember this tragedy,” he said.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.