Sole survivor full of praise for driver

2013-11-26 00:00

THE only passenger to survive the plunge from the Cedara bridge last week, yesterday praised the driver of the Mercedes, who he said was not speeding.

“We were praising the driver for his good driving before the accident happened. I don’t know what really happened when we approached the bridge because he was not speeding,” said Ndabenhle Zuma.

Zuma told that The Witness that he was seated behind the driver, Siphesihle Gabada (22), when the car crashed against a side barrier on the Cedara road bridge over the N3 last Thursday.

Gabada from Mthatha, Lizalise Maliwa (21) from Mount Frere and Nkululeko Nkala from Ladysmith died in the crash.

Speaking from his Durban home after being released from Northdale Hospital, Zuma said they were not drunk and added that his family had not wanted him to know that his friends had died in the accident.

“They took my phone and told me that they were hospitalised at Grey’s Hospital after the accident. I used a phone from a patient that I was with to log onto Facebook where I saw that they had died. I was shocked to find out the three of them had passed away.”

Gabada’s father, Sifanele Gabada, the owner of the car, said he gave his son Siphesihle the car so he could travel home easily between KZN and the Eastern Cape. “He was a trusted, promising child,” said the grieving father.

Nkala, who prophesied his own death in a Facebook post the day before he died, expressed his desire to be reunited with his father, who had died a month earlier.

“We were still trying to come to terms with the death of his father, my brother, when he also lost his life,” said his uncle Mandla Nkala.

Mandlakayise Maliwa said it was painful for the family to lose their eldest son.

Maliwa and Gabada’s funerals will be held on Saturday while Nkala’s will take place on Sunday.

Khwezi Ngceke, a friend of the three, said there will be a memorial service at Cedara College on Thursday at 9 am.

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