‘God is sometimes merciless’

2013-05-20 00:00

“GOD is sometimes unfair and merciless.” These were the words uttered by Zakhele Ndlovu, a resident at Othwebe, Cato Ridge, where six members of one family were killed in a car accident on Friday night.

“To have six members of one family killed in one accident is tragic. Sometimes God can be merciless,” said Ndlovu, who was visiting the family to pay his respects yesterday.

Lucy Shange (60), Mzikayifani Shange (42), Thembe (39), who was popularly known as Ntombenjani, Thulebona (38) and two toddlers, Nonhlanhla (18 months) and Sandile (one), were killed on the Umbumbulu road when their car, a Mazda 323, collided with a tractor.

The family was travelling from Pietermaritzburg to Mid-Illovo.

Six burning candles and clothes belonging to each of the victims were neatly arranged on the floor in the family’s rondavel in their memory.

Transport MEC Willies Mchunu and eThekwini Mayor James Nxumalo visited the family yesterday. Mchunu said his department was committed to helping with the burial arrangements.

Mthandeni Shange, a relative, said almost the entire family had been killed in that accident.

“Only two adults and four children are remaining, I will now have to buy keys and lock this home because there is nobody here.”

He said he learnt of the accident around midnight and was told to go to the Mid-Illovo police station, where officers informed them that all those travelling in the car had been killed.

“Those family members we called to inform about the tragedy, they could not believe what they were hearing,” Shange said.

He said the tragedy was a great loss and it would take time for the family, especially the young children, to heal.

“Right now they are in pain. The reality will sink in for other family members after the funeral.”

Mchunu described the tragedy as the worst he had encountered since becoming the MEC for Transport.

“You find situations where many people die in an accident, but they belong to different families. Never have I encountered a situation where six people die and they all come from the same family.”

He said the department would continue to push for drivers to be punished more harshly for road offences in an effort to bring down the death toll.

“Paying fines is no longer enough; it’s as if people are buying cases and they pay a fine, and the following day they are doing the same thing again.”

In another accident at the weekend, three pedestrians were killed in the Vulindlela area when a driver, who was allegedly speeding, lost control and ploughed into four people, pushing them over a cliff.

The driver had allegedly stolen the keys to the family car. He and a passenger were injured.

Constable Sibusiso Mchunu of the Pietermaritzburg Accident Unit said: “We understand from the people at the scene that the car was speeding and the driver lost control and crashed into four young people and pushed them over the cliff.”

The police are investigating cases of culpable homicide for both accidents. No arrests have been made.

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