‘I have no one left’

2012-04-10 00:00

YESTERDAY was supposed to be a joint birthday celebration for an extended family in Pietermaritzburg.

Instead, it was a ghastly day of mourning after five members of the Munger family — spanning three generations — were killed in a head-on collision on Friday night.

And in another horror smash near Cato Ridge yesterday afternoon, a 26-year-old mother, Maneli Nene, and her five-year-old son, Masuwakhe, were also killed.

They were among the 27 victims of about 22 road accidents in KwaZulu-Natal over the Easter weekend.

The Mungers, from Oribi, were on the N3 near Pinetown when a car with a lone driver, travelling on the wrong side of the road, ploughed into them on Friday night.

They were returning from the Ratha Yatra Festival in Durban.

The crash claimed the lives of Sunilraj Munger (53), his wife Dhivika (51), their son Aymish (29) and his wife Chantal (33) and the younger couple’s little girl, Varsana (2).

The driver, whose identity was still not known last night also died.

The elder Munger couple’s daughter, Citra Priya Devi Dasi Harilall, told The Witness yesterday, she had not only lost her parents, but her only brother.

“I have no one.

“My entire family was wiped out in one day. How am I going to survive without them? We were very close to them and I feel like I have been left alone.”

Her husband, Vimal, and her mother shared a birthday and would have celebrated today.

Vimal Harillal described his in-laws as “humble, religious and very spiritual people who were initiated in the Hare Krishna movement”.

They were always helpful to devotees and non-devotees as they were always willing to give a helping hand to those who sought it.

Harilall said he hoped people would remember the Mungers for their abundant love for humanity.

Sunilraj and Aymish were both fitters and turners.

Harilall said his father-in-law had worked for Nestlé in Estcourt before he retired to live in Pietermaritzburg about five years ago.

“My brother-in-law (Aymish) also followed in his father’s footsteps as fitter and turner at Hulamin in


His mother-in-law, Dhivika, and sister-in-law, Chantal, were housewives, said Harilall.

An eyewitness, who would not divulge his name, said he had a close shave when the car narrowly missed him, between the Pavilion shopping centre and Pinetown.

“I was with my wife and two of my children when I noticed that there was a car travelling full speed towards us.

“The driver must have used the Pinetown off ramp to enter the N3 in the wrong direction,” he said.

He heard a loud bang and in his rear view mirror saw that the lone driver had smashed into the Mungers’ car.

“I think the driver must have been on a suicide mission because he could stop and make a u-turn.

“He had ample opportunity to do so as he must have been able to see he was driving in a wrong carriageway, but he sped past at full speed,” said the witness.

The crash in Cato Ridge yesterday afternoon saw three people survive, but Nene and her son Masuwakhe both died from their injuries after the 4x4 they were travelling in veered off the road.

André Visser, spokesperson for ER24, said both mother and child were declared dead at the scene.

Nene’s husband and another couple — who were ejected from the vehicle — were treated at the scene for various injuries, including broken bones, suspected back and neck injuries as well as various scrapes and bruises.

Earlier in the day, in yet another accident, a 35-year-old man died after his vehicle crashed into a tree.

He had been driving along the M80, in Pietermaritzburg, said Chris Botha, spokesperson for Netcare911.

More details about both accidents were not available at the time of going to press.

• thobani.ngqulunga@witness.co.za

Easter traffic: 34 drivers arrested for drunk driving

Total vehicles stopped: 27 427

Total number of written charges: 6 099

Total speed charges: (including manual camera): 920

Suspensions : 212

Drink driving arrests: 34

Speed arrests: 14

No driving licence: 469

Seat belts: 491

Unlicensed vehicles: 344

Inconsiderate driving: 16

Warrants executed: 120

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