King mourns flowers, Parents wait for news of girls

2013-09-03 00:00

V Prince Thulani Zulu, from the Royal House

‘It is evident the devil does not wish to see something beautiful happen.’

A FATHER could yesterday only shake his head numbly, unable to find the words to express his grief at losing his wife, sister-in-law and niece in the bus crash on Sunday on the R66 near Eshowe, while returning from the annual Reed Dance Festival in kwaNongoma.

Compounding this was the concern for his daughter, Badelisile Mnyende, a Grade 11 pupil, “who was really hurt” and in hospital.

She was one of the young women attending the festival in high spirits, celebrating their purity and vowing through their attendance to lead an exemplary life.

But for seven young girls with the same hopes life was cut short when the bus they were travelling in is believed to have hit a barrier and overturned.

Prince Thulani Zulu, from the Royal House, said he had never seen King Goodwill Zwelithini so sad.

“The king is down and out about the young flowers of the nation that were lost so tragically.”

The purpose of the tradition is to build a nation, and that word failed him when faced with an incident like this, Zulu said.

“After all the jubilation and teachings that the girls received, to think that this is the way it had to end for some of them.

“It is evident the devil does not wish to see something beautiful happen.”

Badelisile’s father, Samuel Mnyende, yesterday insisted that his wife Nomusa’s second name Kindness be added when she is referred to, alluding to his memory of her.

Nomusa, her sister Mercy Msansi and their niece Nokwanda Sweetness Khawula were killed in the crash.

Nomusa and Mercy were part of the group of women who went along to take care of the youngsters at the festival.

Mnyende got the shocking news of the accident on Sunday evening around 6 pm, when the local chief called him.

By yesterday evening, a complete list of the dead and survivors had not yet been released.

Among the bereaved and concerned people who packed the uMlalazi council chambers yesterday was grandfather Alpheus Sithole, who came with the hope of getting more information.

“I have heard that she [his granddaughter] is in one of the hospitals, but I haven’t seen her. I don’t know anything,” he said.

The same uncertainty was faced by many others milling around, waiting for information to come through.

They drew some consolation from the prayers and singing offered by local clergymen, words of encouragement from the MECs of Arts and Culture, and Transport, Community, Safety and Liaison, and mayors and council officials.

• The ANC will hold a prayer meeting for the victims at the Mabuthela Sports Grounds in Mzumbe at 1 pm today.

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