Pupils, family members collapse at Verena funeral

2017-05-06 11:57
An elderly lady is consoled during the funeral service of sixteen children and a general assistant who passed away in a taxi accident in Verena, Mpumalanga. (Alexy Mitchley, News24)

An elderly lady is consoled during the funeral service of sixteen children and a general assistant who passed away in a taxi accident in Verena, Mpumalanga. (Alexy Mitchley, News24)

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'Death has robbed us' - Bronkhorstspruit crash victims remembered

2017-05-03 20:41

Hundreds gathered in Sokhulumi to remember Verena victimsWATCH

Johannesburg – Several pupils and mourners at the Verena mass funeral for 16 pupils who were killed in a horrific taxi crash had to be escorted to a mobile clinic outside the packed marquee, after some were overwhelmed with grief and collapsed.

Twenty people died in the accident last month, including the taxi driver and a general worker at one of the schools. Two more pupils will be buried on Sunday.

The taxi crashed into a truck on the R25 between Verena and Bronkhorstpruit last month.

Pupil after pupil had to be escorted out of the packed marquee where the funeral service was taking place in Mpumalanga because they were overcome with emotion and cried uncontrollably.

Many mourners also had to be carried out on stretchers after fainting during proceedings.

'Our beautiful children have slipped into the next world'

Parents, friends and community members were inconsolable as they cried and screamed. Some mourners were comforted by nurses, social workers and counsellors.

Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, said, “It is the darkest day of this nation and we share in your grief. On my way here the words of a verse from the book of Job [came to me] which said, I came naked from my mother’s womb and I will be naked when I leave… “The Lord gave me what I had and he has taken it away. And praise be the name of the Lord.”

She also cited a verse from the book of Timothy saying humans come into the world with nothing and when they die, they leave with nothing.

She urged the mourners to be calm and to accept what had happened.

“Do not be angry with yourselves for what has happened to you. It is the will of the God Almighty.

"This is not a time or place to apportion blame and we plead with the families and the learners to accept that our beautiful children have slipped into the next world.”

Motshekga said despite the gruesome accident, she was certain that the deceased were resting in peace.

“The only memory that we can carry forward in the name of these beautiful souls is to know and understand that road safety is everybody’s responsibility.“I am not suggesting in any way that this is normal but I am saying that road safety is everyone’s responsibility ... we can turn the tide of fatal accidents and avoid the pain we are going through today as a nation.”

Concluding, she read a scripture saying there was a time for everything, a time to live and to die.

“Though time does not heal fully, it makes the pain bearable,” said Motshekga.

Read more on:    johannesburg

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