Parents search for answers

2008-10-27 00:00

THE distraught parents of the four victims of a horrific accident are desperately searching for answers about what lead to the fatal crash.

Parents interviewed by The Witness yesterday still had little or no idea where their children were going when the Ford Bantam bakkie they were travelling in overturned on the N3 northbound, near Scottsville, in the wet early hours of Sunday.

It is believed that the group were returning from Durban, where they celebrated the Sharks’ Currie Cup final victory.

There were 12 passengers in the car, most of whom were crammed on to the back of the open bakkie.

It is believed that the driver swerved to avoid another vehicle and hit a ditch, causing the bakkie to overturn. The passengers were thrown out of the vehicle.

Seven passengers were injured and four, including two matric pupils, were killed. Mancane Thobisile Ngcobo (25), a Msunduzi Municipality employee; her friend Silindile Nowandle Manyathi (25), an employee at the Transport Department; and Nomonde (Amanda) Hadebe (18), a grade 12 pupil at Girls’ High School, all died on impact. Samukele Khumalo (17), the headboy of St Charles College, died in hospital.

The driver has been charged with four counts of capable homicide


Nomonde’s mother, Khumbuzile Hadebe, said she knew that her daughter had gone to Durban to a sports celebration with a male friend. She said that she heard about the accident at 8.30 am on Sunday, when a group of young men came to her Imbali home to break the news. She had been about to call her daughter to find out if she was safe.

“[Nomonde’s male friend] called me on Friday to ask for permission to go with Monde. He said he had been stood up by his [female] partner, which is why he turned to Monde.

“But what shocked me is the fact that there were 12 of them crammed into the bakkie, which did not have a canopy. I wonder where the police were, because they should have been arrested,” she said.

Hadebe said her daughter had for the last few weeks been studying hard for her final exams, which were due to start on Thursday.

Hadebe said that according to her daughter’s friends, they had organised a minibus for their trip to Durban. But after the girl who organised the van decided against going, the owner of the van said his car was also no longer available.

“I last spoke to Monde over the phone, when she told me that they were going to 50 [Durban Road] to take transport for their journey. Later she sent me an SMS to tell me that they were fine,” said Hadebe.

Thobisile’s mother, Jabulile Ngcobo (55), said that all she knew was that her daughter had gone “somewhere” with Silindile, and that the accident happened near Scottsville.

By yesterday, Slindile Manyathi’s family were still in the dark about what had happened to her.

Manyathi’s death came as a second blow to the family, who only buried Manyathi’s stepfather a month ago.

During an interview yesterday, a distraught Ningi Nene, Manyathi’s mother, was still searching for answers from The Witness. According to Nene, her child was supposed to have gone to a graduation party in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday night.

“All we know is that she was in a car accident. We don’t know where she was coming from or where she was going. I have lost a lot, what a waste,” she said, fighting back tears.”

Manyathi worked for the Transport Department in Durban, where she lived. Her grandmother, “Granny Hlengwa”, described Manyathai as a helpful child who looked after her mother.

“I was looking to her to bury me, but now I am burying her. But the worst thing is not knowing what happened.”

Manyathi is survived by a two-year-old daughter.

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