‘God took her too soon’ - heartbroken mom of blue light victim

2016-03-30 06:00

ON Saturday last week when Thembisile Radebe told her husband, Ernest, that their daughter, Buyi, had died in an accident on Friday evening, she got no response.
On Sunday the blind and partially deaf 68-year-old man sat quietly in the corner of their home, in his wheelchair, and wept.
"I think he only processed what I said to him later. He sobbed like a woman and I just held him," said Radebe (64).
On Friday evening Buyi Radebe and Nonto Ximba, both members of the Christ Embassy Church, were killed when KwaZulu-Natal Premier Senzo Mchunu's lead vehicle in a blue-light convoy collided head on with the vehicle they were travelling in at KwaDukuza.
Mchunu visited both families on Sunday and offered assistance with the funeral arrangements and burials. The families are receiving counselling. Buyi (36), a teacher in Empangeni left home on Monday, March 14, and that was the last time her family saw or heard from her.
Recounting how she heard the news of her daughter's death, Radebe said she was woken up by loud knocks on her door in the early hours of Saturday morning.
"When I opened the door, at around 4am, I saw members of the church. I thought they were here to pray for my husband. I left the room and then I saw Pastor Ntombi and then I realised that something was wrong with Buyi."
Radebe said she asked the members of the congregation what had happened and no one responded.
"I realised that my daughter was not with them. I told them that she left to go to church earlier and that I hadn't heard from her."
One of the congregants insisted that Radebe take a seat but she refused. "I started crying because I knew something bad had happened. I didn't hear the words that she had died but I knew that something happened."
Radebe was later told that Mchunu's bodyguards crashed into the vehicle her daughter was travelling in.
She said she had accepted that her daughter was gone.
On Tuesday morning she sent two of her sons to identify her daughter's remains at the KwaDukuza Mortuary.
Radebe said she was relieved that Mchunu had decided to help the family because she did not have money to bury her daughter.
Radebe said the details of what happened were still sketchy but she said Mchunu might have been at the scene shortly after the accident.
"He [Mchunu] was very hurt by what happened. He told me that he went to look at the accident and carried on home."
Radebe said she had three sons and three grandchildren to care for.
"My husband is a vegetable. He cannot see and he cannot hear properly. I have to walk a distance to the toilet outside and I have to carry him onto the toilet seat. I am old now, this is hard."
Radebe said things were starting to look up for her daughter.
"She had just finished her teaching degree and she was meant to graduate in May. Now we will never see that day because God took her too soon.
"She only started teaching in January and she was enjoying it. She has always had it tough but things were looking up for her. She was going to be the first in the family to graduate."
Radebe described her daughter as a very quiet and pleasant person.
"She always had a smile on her face and she had a good heart. She always cried when I shouted because she hated it when I raised my voice."
She said her daughter was very religious. "I will miss everything about her. I am hurt that God took her."

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