Pinetown crash: Kids still don't know mom is dead

2013-09-13 12:13
(ER24)

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New footage of Pinetown crash

2013-09-11 10:42

New aerial footage has surfaced of the horrific accident in Pinetown where over 20 people died. WARNING: CONTAINS GRAPHIC CONTENT.WATCH

Durban - A woman who lost her daughter in last week’s Field’s Hill tragedy has not been able to find a way to tell her two young grandchildren that their mother is dead.

Speaking to The Witness with tears in her eyes, Zodwa Cele, 55, said she isn’t ready to break the news.

“They are too young and I’m not ready,” she said, her voice barely registering above a whisper.

On Thursday, Cele and hundreds of mourners filled a marquee at the kwa­Ndengezi sports ground to remember the 22 people who died when a truck crashed through an intersection at the bottom of Field’s Hill.

Truck driver Sanele Goodness May, 23, has been arrested and charged with 22 counts of murder.

The crash victims are expected to be buried this weekend.

Promise

Cele said her daughter’s children - a 6-year-old girl and her 4-year-old brother - still think their mother, Zinhle, who was 31, is at some stage going to come home.

“She promised to bring them goodies before she left for the local shopping centre.”

Cele said she had asked Zinhle to go to the centre to buy fish so she could prepare cooking stock. But little did she know that her daughter would not make it back home.

Zinhle left at 16:00 and her mother began to panic when she did not return.

She said she searched the whole night for her daughter at local hospitals, but she was nowhere to be found. Eventually, she found her daughter at a mortuary the morning after the accident.

Crying, Cele said her daughter did not have visible scars on her body.

Cele said Zinhle loved singing and was a member of the church choir.

"There’s a huge hole that she has left me with. Even though she wasn’t working, she was an important member of the family. She’d be there when the kids come back from school, but now she’s not there.”

'Heartbroken'

Mthoko Dlamini, whose two brothers, Sbonelo, 30, and Simon, 24, and a cousin, Bonginkosi Zungu, 40, died in the crash, said he was still traumatised by the accident.

“Everyone’s still heartbroken and my brothers’ six children are constantly crying for their fathers.”

Dlamini, who was at the accident scene just after the crash, said he was struggling to eat or sleep.

Transport MEC Willies Mchunu, speaking at the memorial service, said every driver who causes death on the roads must face the harshest sentence.

“I don’t believe that we need to be lenient,” he added.

Death threats

In related news, the owner of the truck that was involved in the Field’s Hill crash has received death threats, his spokesperson Lisa Sukdev said.

“Gregory Govender has received threats and fears for his safety.

“He is also highly traumatised by the tragedy and the ensuing events. You can only imagine what a toll it has taken on him, his family and the business.”

Sukdev said Govender remains committed to exhausting every possible resource to establish the facts that led to this tragedy.

 

Read more on:    durban  |  accidents  |  pinetown crash
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