Thousands of mourners attend bus victims' service

2015-09-03 14:00

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Willowvale - Social workers had their hands full on Thursday morning trying to console mourners at a memorial service in Nqabara village in Willowvale, where 35 people who died in a tragic bus accident have been remembered, City Press reported.

Nurses, social workers and paramedics worked hard to console bereaved families, some of whom sobbed uncontrollably, during the memorial service which was attended by Transport Minister Dipuo Peters, her provincial counterpart Weziwe Tikana, premier Phumulo Masualle, Road and Public Works MEC Thandiswa Marawu, mayors, government officials and religious leaders.

Also present was former premier and current Bhisho Legislature speaker Noxolo Kiviet.

Thousands of people from all over the province filled the giant six-pole marquee erected on the grounds of Nduku Junior Secondary School, in Nqabara, 25km from Willowvale.

Inside the marquee the mood was tense, with mourners - including widows and bereaved parents - seated on the right-hand side of the tent.

The crash took place on Saturday after the driver lost control of the bus in which they were travelling when the brakes failed. It veered off the road and down a hill, plunging into a river bed. The driver died in the crash.

The memorial service was organised by the Eastern Cape departments of transport and social development, as well as the Mbhashe Local Municipality.

Minister Peters will deliver a message at the memorial service on behalf of national government and the president later on Thursday.

Meanwhile, another memorial service will be held in Queenstown on Friday for 10 others who died on Saturday in a separate accident between Cradock and Graaff-Reinet. The deadly crash occurred when a minibus-taxi’s tyre burst.

Read more on:    east london  |  accidents

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