21 school children injured in latest bakkie accident

2015-03-11 00:00

TWENTY-ONE school children escaped with minor injuries when a bakkie they were travelling in crashed into another vehicle yesterday morning.

The accident happened two months after a school bakkie accident claimed the lives of eight Fezokuhle Primary School pupils in Imbali.

Balindile Ndlovu (36), who lives on Church Street, said she helped her two children — Lindelwa (11) and Kwanele Mbokwe (10) — cross the busy road to wait for their school transport.

Before they parted, she kissed them goodbye and told them she would see them later.

However, at around 8.30 am, Ndlovu received a panicked phone call from her sister, informing her that her children had been involved in an accident.

“She said the school had informed her that there was a problem with the children and the bakkie they were in. They told me that there had been an accident,” said Ndlovu.

The children were heading to Orient Heights Primary School when the accident happened.

Scared and confused, Ndlovu rushed to fetch her cousin, whose children also use the bakkie.

Ndlovu said: “My sister pays R550 to transport her children from Imbali to Northdale, and I pay R250 to transport them from town to Northdale.”

Ndlovu said she does not have a vehicle and therefore relies on the bakkie to take her children to school.

“The government needs to do something about this. If they managed to raise funds to pay people grants, then surely they can get buses to take our children to schools.”

Ndlovu said the driver had not apologised for the accident. “He came here and then left to fix his skorokoro,” she said.

Her children’s injuries were not serious.

Transport Department spokesperson Kwanele Ncalane said the department was not aware of the accident, but promised to investigate.

“We are urging parents to check that the vehicles they are putting their children into are in good condition. The buck stops with them.

“The department is doing everything it can to address this bakkie issue because it has become a sore point in the province,” he said.

Education Department spokesperson Muzi Mahlambi was not available to comment by the time of going to press.

• amanda.khoza@witness.co.za

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