Pupil killed in freak accident was on his way home

2015-07-09 18:11
 (KwaZulu-Natal EMS)

(KwaZulu-Natal EMS)

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WATCH: Teacher describes how pupil died

2015-07-09 15:40

Kabelo Maqache, Deputy Principal of Molapo High School in Leribe, Lesotho has described the incident to News24's Amanda Khoza who was at the scene in the Durban CBD. Watch.WATCH

Durban – The Lesotho school boy, killed during a freak accident in central Durban on Thursday, was on his way home after a four-day educational tour in KwaZulu-Natal when the incident occurred.

Deputy principal of Molapo High School in Leribe, Lesotho, Kabelo Maqache said: “We were on an educational tour to Durban and had just checked out of the Durban hotel, where we [had been] staying since Sunday. We were leaving for home in two buses that were following each other.

“The bus at the back was carrying 45 children and I was in that bus. Unfortunately one of our pupils looked out of the window and as he did that, he hit an electric pole on the side of the road.

“I believe he died instantly.”

When News24 arrived at the accident scene, several people had gathered at the top of narrow Dick King Street off Anton Lembede Street [Smith Street].

'I am too traumatised at the moment'

Blood spatter could be seen on the ground and on the wall from a distance as the police cordoned off the road.

News24 asked bystanders what had happened and a man answered, saying he was the bus driver. When probed further, he shook his head and said: “I can’t, I am too traumatised at the moment.”

A man standing next to the driver, who was willing to speak on condition of anonymity, told News24 three buses arrived from Lesotho on Sunday.

“We have been staying at the hotel since Sunday. Today was actually our last day. We have two buses, because we left the third bus at Springfield Park because it was giving us problems.

“We were on our way to do minor shopping for their breakfast. So we had to use this street to make our way out to the nearest shops. As you can see, this is a one-way and there were vehicles parked along the side of the street.

'The pole hit him on the neck'

“The bus had to find its way through the vehicles as well as the street poles. This pupil, in the bus, he peeped through the window, something must have caught his attention and he wanted to see what was happening. Along the same path the bus was travelling on there was an electric pole. 

“The next thing the pole hit him on the neck. His head did not come off, but he was severely injured,” said the man.  

He said the school children were traumatised and had been taken to the beach where they were being looked after by the teachers and other medical practitioners.

He said the accident happened at about 1pm.

“The pupil was a boy, aged 16. We feel very bad. We have been communicating with the principal back home and have been informing him of what happened. Maybe the parents have been informed already.”

Teacher Matankiso Morahanye said the radio was switched off and the children were not making a noise when the accident happened.

“As you can see this is a short distance from [the] Durban hotel where we were staying, so the bus was not speeding either. There was no time to switch on the radio and make noise.

“We had just come out of the hotel and the driver was coming out slowly, the speed was limited, it just happened. It is something we cannot even explain,” said Morahanye.

'I am very sad because it’s a child'

Eyewitness Bongani Dlamini said the bus was coming down Dick King Road and looked like it was avoiding hitting car mirrors and the boundary.

“Then, all of a sudden, a child’s head popped out and he was looking behind the bus and he hit a parking meter sign on the street and it cut his face in half.

“I am very sad because it’s a child,” said Dlamini.

When the mortuary van arrived to fetch the boy's remains, which had been placed in the bus, tears welled up in Morahanye’s eyes.

She watched as the police loaded the body, in a white body bag, into the van.

“It’s painful. I am heartbroken. These were disciplined children. They did nothing wrong. They were here to have clean, innocent fun and we were leaving tonight,” she said with tears streaming down her cheeks.

Read more on:    durban  |  accident

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