Thousands mourn friends

2013-10-12 00:00

IT was a Black Friday for the thousands of people who gathered at separate funerals in Pietermaritzburg to say their final goodbyes to three of the four young men who died in Thursday morning’s horrific accident.

Shikar Singh (26), Yesigan Govender (22), Dino Pillay (22) and Mikyle Robert (23), died on impact when the Audi convertible they were driving veered off the road and crashed into a municipal dump truck on Alan Paton Avenue just after midnight on Thursday morning.

An accident expert who asked not to be named for professional reasons, said 11 seconds before the impact between the Audi and the dump truck, a fully laden Greyhound bus had passed the scene.

He said with the height that the Audi had reached on the dump truck, the consequences could have been tragic if the Audi had crashed into the bus. He added that if the dump truck had not blocked the path of the Audi, the Cabriolet could have landed in the petrol station forecourt. In addition, the petrol station tanks had just been filled and he believes that if the accident had occurred while the tanks were in the process of being filled, a major explosion could have ensued, causing damage to an area of up to three kilometres around the petrol station. “The effects of the accident could have been much, much worse.”

Braving the unbearable heat yesterday, devastated friends and family made their way to all three funerals, held at separate venues in the city.

Dino’s funeral was held at the Philadelphia Sanctuary, Woodlands, Yesigan’s at the Aryan Hall, Raisethorpe, and Shikar’s at the Imbali Funeral Chapel in the city centre. All three were later cremated at the Mountain Rise Crematorium, one after the other.

Heart-wrenching sobs could be heard at all the funerals as a steady stream of people thronged the venues throughout the day.

At Dino’s funeral, his heartbroken girlfriend of seven years, Nikita (who didn’t want her surname used), said her life was shattered.

“Where do I begin picking up the pieces? The last time I spoke to Dino, he had helped me after I had an accident on Wednesday afternoon. He told me after this, everything was going to be alright. How is everything going to be alright with him not here?” sobbed Nikita.

Yesigan’s father, Vishnu, is a broken man. Sitting close to the coffin, he sobbed continuously.

“My son … hey, my son … you were my friend, not my child. What a boy you were. You lived up to all our expectations and made us so proud,” said Vishnu.

Jesse Singh, his cousin, said he cannot come to terms with the deaths.

“I was friends with all of them. We swore to being brothers for life and that’s what we were … brothers. How am I supposed to say goodbye to my family who made such an impact on my life?” said Jesse.

Shikar’s coffin was draped in his favourite soccer jersey and FC Barcelona scarf.

In May this year, his mother Nadira had taken him to Barcelona, Spain, as an early birthday present. Shikar, would have celebrated his 27th birthday next month.

“He wanted to go on the trip closer to his birthday but I insisted we go earlier. We had planned this trip for most of his life. Shikar is a crazed Barcelona soccer fan, so it was a dream come true for us to go there. I’m so glad I insisted on going earlier in the year. How do I get my life back on track … I don’t think I can. It’s so hard to even think that he is not going to be here,” said a devastated Nadira.

The funeral of Mikyle Robert will be held today at the Ephesus Church from 1.30 pm.

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