Westdene bus crash wounds reopened

2013-02-06 11:30

Johannesburg - A Facebook user has called for a celebration of the drowning of 42 white children 28 years ago, The Times newspaper reported on Wednesday.

Zama Khumalo, 24, told his 493 friends on the social website he would send out an invitation to a "Big Black Braai" to celebrate the deaths of 42 children when their school bus plunged into Westdene dam, Johannesburg, on 27 March 1985.

The braai would be on the anniversary of the disaster and there would be DJs and fireworks, the newspaper reported.

According to the newspaper, Katherine Shaddock was shocked to learn that the death of her half-sister, Mary-Ann Miles, would be celebrated.

'Full of hatred for another race'

Khumalo posted the names of the 24 of the 42 victims with the comment that their deaths were "much appreciated, my Lord!"

He claimed to be a journalist for the Daily Sun newspaper. The paper's management distanced itself from Khumalo and said he was no longer employed there.

SA Human Rights Commission spokesperson Isaac Mangena told The Times the commission had not received a formal complaint, and that the post was "on the face of it, full of hatred for another race".

Khumalo changed his tune on Saturday and apologised.

"I have taken time to consider and reflect on the Westdene post that I made earlier this week... the matter has been such huge pressure... I received inbox threats," he wrote on his page.

"I heartily apologise and deeply regret the post."


  • MastersVoice - 2013-02-06 11:38

    What a complete racist!

  • willie.olivier.144 - 2013-02-06 11:38

    I have a thousand thing to say to you but I shall keep it to myself and leave it to God to judge you one day. And that day will come, trust me!

  • betsie.ackerman - 2013-02-06 11:40

    He's one sick bastard!

  • traci.ostermeyer - 2013-02-06 11:42

    This is a disgrace

  • yttocs69 - 2013-02-06 11:42

    Shame on you TWIT !

  • Erna - 2013-02-06 11:42

    People who comment on social networking should think before they post. Apologising now is too late.

  • shooter - 2013-02-06 11:42

    Too late to apologize! Once a racist always a racist!

  • carina.welman - 2013-02-06 11:43

    Wow... What a sad day.. So young and so full of hatred. And of course he will get off scot free for hate speech. Figures. Don't you just love how our hypocrisy erm... I mean democracy works?

  • colin.taylor.9883 - 2013-02-06 11:43

    Too late for an apology.... you made the comment... you are the main reason there are racists in this world... GROW UP.....

  • swartskapie - 2013-02-06 11:43

    disgusting. how do you want to celebrate the death of young children. There is absolutely no excuse for his behavior whatsoever. You should be ashamed of yourself, sies!

  • gertjiepienaar - 2013-02-06 11:43

    Dear Mr. Khumalo. Thank you for doing your bit for reconciliation in our country.... Idiot! I'm sure that you suddenly had a change of heart and am now "sorry".

  • Killbot79 - 2013-02-06 11:44


  • AceOfSpades - 2013-02-06 11:44


  • rudi.strydom2 - 2013-02-06 11:44

    Racist!! And who is your lord? I see your appologie as a responce only to threats in your inbox.

  • shawon.tiltman.5 - 2013-02-06 11:44

    what a words can describe it better.

  • Diane Chow - 2013-02-06 11:44

    totally unnecessary. never should anyone with a hart ever say such thing about a child's death, no matter the race.

  • johan.syffert - 2013-02-06 11:44

    And we wonder why SA is still so full of racism and hate. Getting boring now people get over it.

  • Swapie - 2013-02-06 11:45

    Burn in hell, you sick f...

  • lizanne.smith.75 - 2013-02-06 11:46

    I don't think an apology does any good.

  • francois.delange - 2013-02-06 11:46

    Shows the true colors of some. Maybe it is because they feel threatened....

  • walter.tgsa - 2013-02-06 11:46

    Khumalo, what a complete jerk you are!

  • Nkosi Gum - 2013-02-06 11:46

    Seriously!!!! bru,hw on earth could you think of that...

  • christiana.vespucci - 2013-02-06 11:47

    Ah. 24 and you so cold, heartless, and not to mention brain dead. You deserve all those threats you getting. What you thought that because there's Zumas running SA you can degrade, humiliate, violate and do as you please. You got it so wrong boytjie. Had that been my sister or brother and someone wished to celebrate their deaths. You, your friends and families will begin to wish I was a figment of your imagine. You and your families would wish you all can get some sleep. You are no better than the white racist that controlled SA once upon a time! Imbeciles!!!

  • elgh.elgh - 2013-02-06 11:47

    What can I say!!! We have serious social problems if we start celebrating children’s deaths, not even mentioning the colour of the skin...

  • - 2013-02-06 11:47

    Too little too late you horrific little racist ... no wonder this country is in a mess .... and they say blacks cannot be racist??? He should be charged for hate speach and incitement....

  • marc.moon.10 - 2013-02-06 11:47

    celebrating the death of children.... apologizes when gets caught out... stupid fing bastard

  • akshar.sookraj - 2013-02-06 11:48

    You A Dumb Twat.... Moron... But Than Again...You are a Khumalo

  • nasiefa.jacksonlazarus - 2013-02-06 11:48


  • BatRMan959 - 2013-02-06 11:49

    Dumba$$. You can't stoop lower than a racist!!!After all those years under apartheid you should have learned the value of a life!!!

  • Xavier7034 - 2013-02-06 11:50

    Apology made - move on - we all make mistakes, and we need to respect one another.

      zane.zeiler - 2013-02-06 12:23

      What a chop... By your logic someone being sued for slander can simply just apologize and then everyone moves on no harm no fowl? What this young man has done is a serious offence and a simple apology will not suffice.

      johan.mostert.967 - 2013-02-06 12:23

      How is it 'making mistakes' when saying what he did?

      freddy.vandenheever.3 - 2013-02-06 12:29

      Apology not accepted Xavier. There needs to be a consequence to what this person said. Put yourself in the shoes of parents, grandparents and siblings of those little kids that died.

      procold2 - 2013-02-06 12:32

      respect is earned, definatly hasnt got mine, charge and arrest him for hate speech.

      Lyndatjie - 2013-02-06 12:37

      And THAT is where the problem lies Xavier... he didn't respect the feelings of the loved ones that had to read that filth... he gave no respect so he DESERVES no respect! I'm all for forgiving and moving on - but ANYBODY that could possibly think that writing what he did was OK EVEN FOR A SECOND is not only a psychopath devoid of all feelings - but also a total RACIST capable of ANYTHING... Is THAT the type of person you want us to respect? Seriously? Well then respect him and bring him into your family and introduce him to your CHILDREN...

      stefanus.nel.50 - 2013-02-06 12:39

      You're an a$shole. Oh sorry. I made a mistake.

      jeremy thorpe - 2013-02-06 12:42

      This wasn't a "mistake." It was a considered, thought-out racist insult made worse by the fact that it involved 42 innocent children. Commemorating their deaths is one thing. "Celebrating" them is another entirely. For the record, I was nearby, a junior news writer at the SABC, when it happened - and it was utterly heartbreaking. To this day I think about that submerged bus and its poor drowned passengers every time I drive past Westdene Dam. - 2013-02-06 12:43

      Xavier tell that to the families who lost loved ones that day.

      rdupreez - 2013-02-06 13:09

      If you take the time to go read through the rest of his posts on his Facebook account, you will see that he is not sorry at all, and that he probably just said so to avoid a lawsuit!

      kaspaas.breekwater - 2013-02-06 13:55

      Xavier - the same about Apartheid then ??? Apology made - move on - we all make mistakes, and we need to respect one another ????

      jeremy thorpe - 2013-02-06 14:04

      This was a deliberate racist taunt - made all the worse by the fact that it related to 42 innocent dead children. An apology, made purely as a result of the threat of legal action, isn't going to be accepted. For the record, I was there at the time - I was then a junior writer at SABC TV News - and it was an utterly heartbreaking tragedy. I still get the chills thinking about it, on the occasions I drive past Westdene Dam

      edward.tillett.98 - 2013-02-06 14:16

      Disagree with you Xavier - he may have apologised, but is that not because he's sorry for getting "caught"? I doubt he was expecting his comments to be picked up by the national media, and for them to gain national exposure. I hope my black compatriots are as outraged by this blatant racism as they understandably are when it emanates from a white person - just goes to show, you get racists from all walks of life...

  • jose.d.santos.9041 - 2013-02-06 11:51

    u only apologise and regret because of ur inbox threats ..ur a disgusting human being that wasnt even born when this tragedy happened

      squeegee.pilot - 2013-02-06 12:24

      I sincerely hope that black readers will come out strongly against this statement... We need you to make a stand and show your true colors (pun not intended)...

      salome.bezuidenhout - 2013-02-06 12:32

      He only apologised for posting it, not for calling for a celebration or thanking his lord for killing them. Hope he will be procecuted, then he can take full responsibility for his actions.

  • steven.hart.3760 - 2013-02-06 11:51

    You only apologized when the public reacted, its people like you that encourage murder and farm attacks, shame on you, why don't you leave this country and apply your negativity with your allies across the border, death is very tragic, and death of children is even more tragic, i would bury my head in the sand if i were you, waste of breath, lets hope the threats made towards you do materialize so we can party when you gone.

      chiefkeef.sosa.56 - 2013-02-06 12:24

      Tshidi Thamana

      sharon.erwin.96 - 2013-02-06 12:41

      I agree - he regrets the consequences, not the post itself.

      SharonE - 2013-02-06 14:07

      I agree - he regrets the consequences, not the post itself.

  • mack.myburgh - 2013-02-06 11:52


  • scouter.fourone - 2013-02-06 11:53

    Defies any kind of comment other than that this fool should be prosecuted for hate speach....

  • Irene Kambo - 2013-02-06 11:55

    You are a pitiful excuse for a human being!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • rias.thamm - 2013-02-06 11:55

    Can someone just throw this guy in jail please

  • joan.darcy.9 - 2013-02-06 11:56

    It is so sad that this man that he has to think this way about a terrible tragedy! It is this type of racial hatred on both sides of the spectrum that we need to get away from, put behind us before we can heal this country and make it into the great place it should be for all of us. I know many people will disagree but if EVERYONE worked for the good of the country it would be great.

  • john.loveland.9 - 2013-02-06 11:57

    Amazing how 1 poepal with a chip on his shoulders can cause so much hurt. The biggest problem is however, with the backlash we can expect from extremest on both sides of the spectrum.

      Brandon Cook - 2013-02-06 12:22

      what an idiot you my friend are a real piece of work and i pray that you never lose a loved one before there time as its a terrible thing to go through

  • Holdanigono - 2013-02-06 11:58

    I thought Zama Khumalo was a woman?

  • sharkie.fin - 2013-02-06 11:58

    A country still divided...

  • johan.v.tol - 2013-02-06 11:58

    A bit too late to appologize now

  • skmc01 - 2013-02-06 11:59

    Take the time to take a long walk of a short pier ...........we don't need trash like this in our country!!!!

  • leoni - 2013-02-06 12:00

    I am nauseaus just to read this! Please God let this kind of hatred stop!

  • julie.meissenheimer - 2013-02-06 12:01

    You are one very sick person....

  • BatRMan959 - 2013-02-06 12:02

    racist people are the scum of the earth!!!

  • mark.singh.9889 - 2013-02-06 12:04

    I doubt that his apology is heartfelt and sincere. His apology was a response to the threats he received. Action must be taken against this racist.

  • Anton - 2013-02-06 12:05

    Just wonder what Jesse Duarte will say about this.

  • goyougoodthing - 2013-02-06 12:05

    He should be charged.

  • thewyldchild - 2013-02-06 12:06

    Even with an apology, the damage is done you chop.

  • AmuseMePLs - 2013-02-06 12:08

    stupid moron. at a tender age of 24 he should be focusing on improving himself not hating on other ppl to a point of celebrating a tragedy.

      AquilaKaHecate - 2013-02-06 12:15

      He does hate himself. Only a human so full of self-hatred can even start to think like this.