Clash over bakkie crash pupils' funerals

2015-01-31 09:37
(Picture: ER24)

(Picture: ER24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Siso Naile, The Witness

Pietermaritzburg - Talks between families of the seven pupils who were killed in a bakkie crash and government officials broke down on Friday as the families were told none of the funerals can take place on Sunday.

The Chonco, Chamu, Shezi, Vilakazi, Mchunu, Dlamini and Nkomo families were due to meet with officials from the department of transport, Road Accident Fund, education department and Msunduzi Municipality to discuss funeral arrangements.

Families who wanted their children buried by this weekend, however, had to leave with more bad news.

Thandiwe Chamu, mother of Bandile, 10, who died in the crash, described the meeting as a waste of time.

She said: “Even though we stressed to the officials that we wanted the mass funeral to be held over the weekend, they disagreed with us.”

Mass funeral

Chamu added they wanted the mass funeral to be sooner than next week because of concerns that the bodies might decompose. “Every family might end up arranging their own funerals because nothing really worked out at the meeting,” she said.

The Chonco family, who excluded themselves from the mass funeral plans from the start, due to cultural considerations, said their decision to bury Sinethemba, 7, separately was not challenged by any officials.

Sinethemba’s older sister, Thanda, said the family is currently busy with funeral arrangements.

Fezokuhle Primary School principal Bhekane Nkwanyana said there was nothing finalised about funeral arrangements for Sunday, but officials suggested that the memorial service be held on Tuesday at Imbali Unit 13 sports ground or the DUT Indumiso campus.

School governing body member Botsotso Mahlaba said the government could not arrange the funerals for Sunday because they had planned for Premier Senzo Mchunu to visit the homes of the bereaved on that day.

Ward 15 councillor Garnet Mlete said not everybody was pleased with the arrangements, but the memorial service was proposed for Tuesday, and the funeral for Thursday.

Road Accident Fund and transport and education department officials could not be reached for comment.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

Join the conversation! 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. 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
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Financial advisors – Do you need one and should you get one?

The good, the bad, and everything else you need to know when considering hiring a financial advisor.


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

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


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 network.


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.