Emotional farewell to crash victims

2016-04-18 11:02
The family of Mbali Mvulani (21) leave the joint funeral ceremony to bury her on Saturday.

The family of Mbali Mvulani (21) leave the joint funeral ceremony to bury her on Saturday. (Thabang Mathebula, The Witness)

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Pietermaritzburg - Tears and sobs broke out as the coffins carrying four of the seven people killed in a horrific taxi accident on Sweetwaters Road last week were carried to the Siyanda High School sports field, where a mass funeral was held at the weekend.

Mbali Lamola (36), Mbali Mvulani (21), Sbangelo Dlamini (29) and Thandeka Ngubani (40) were buried on Saturday, while the families of Mbuso Mtolo (32), Thabisile Ndlovu (34) and Bongiwe Lembethe (32) opted for private funerals.

Lamola and Mvulani were both Msunduzi TVET College students.

Thandeka’s brother Thokozani said her death had shattered the family, who were trying to moving on. “The children she left need care and support, and it’s our duty as a family to help them.”

Mayor Chris Ndlela commended the taxi owner for supporting the bereaved families.

“When this kind of incident happens, often owners of the vehicle involved will keep their distance,” he said.

KZN roads and safety head Sibusiso Gumbi lambasted reckless drivers who put commuters’ lives at risk. “We cannot have drivers who insist on loading 22 passengers into a 15-seater vehicle, exceed the maximum speed limit and threaten commuters when they complain about their behaviour.

“Commuters also have the responsibility to report such incidents to the department.

“Getting on board an unlicensed taxi or vehicle is a risk. The department will not be held liable if an accident occurs. People should know the Road Accident Fund will not pay if the investigation reveals the vehicle involved in an accident was not roadworthy or unlicensed,” he said.

Gumbi said the two major accidents in KwaZulu-Natal — one which happened in Nkandla last Sunday and the one in Sweetwaters Road on Monday — had come while the department was making progress in reducing road fatalities. “We were just celebrating the recent stats after the Easter holidays, where the province managed to attain a 49% reduction in road deaths.”

He added there was huge concern over KZN drivers who travelled to Mpumalanga or Gauteng to get their vehicles’ certificates of fitness.

• thabang.mathebula@witness.co.za

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  crash  |  funeral  |  accident

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