Bus driver arrested for drunk driving at packed reed dance

2014-09-08 00:00

THE air of excitement following the annual reed dance took a disappointing turn yesterday when one of the bus drivers was arrested for drunk driving.

He also did not have a Professional Driver’s Permit (PDP), KZN Department of Transport spokesperson Kwanele Ncalane confirmed.

Last year the occasion was marred when nine girls and two guardians were killed in a crash when the bus they were travelling in overturned on the R66 near Nkwalini, between Melmoth and Eshowe.

Ncalane said the driver was caught during a road block, taken to Benedictine Hospital for further blood tests, and was expected to appear in Nongoma Magistrate’s Court today.

KZN Transport MEC Willies Mchunu said the arrest should send a clear message that they were serious about keeping road users safe.

For the first time ever, maidens ran out of reeds to present to King Goodwill Zwelithini during this year’s dance. KZN’s Arts and Culture spokesperson Lethukuthula ­Mtshali said this is an indication of how interest in the ceremony has grown.

“We had over 65 000 reeds and we ran out. This has never happened before.”

Thousands of young women attended the annual Umkhosi Womhlanga (Reed Dance) at eNyokeni Palace in Nongoma in northern KZN. They gathered to celebrate the festival, which celebrated its 30th anniversary.

Every year girls from around the country gather at King Goodwill Zwelithini’s palace to present him with reeds. The colourful event celebrates Zulu culture and encourages young women to remain virgins until marriage.

“The event has been heavily criticised but the numbers are showing otherwise. People are still interested in the reed dance,” said the king.

• Amanda.khoza@witness.co.za

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.