Families left shattered

2017-08-22 14:04
Members of the Mtolo family (from left) Zolile Mtolo, Mbongiseni Ngidi and Sibusiso Ngidi, hold up a picture of Jabu Ngidi.

Members of the Mtolo family (from left) Zolile Mtolo, Mbongiseni Ngidi and Sibusiso Ngidi, hold up a picture of Jabu Ngidi. (Ian Carbutt)

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A residents of KwaXimba on Monday spoke out about the twist of fate that led to her not being on the “death taxi” in which 19 people died on Sunday.

The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Transport has formed a special task team to probe the cause of the horror taxi crash that claimed 19 lives at Msunduzi Bridge near Nagle Dam.

Deli Ngcamu was meant to have taken the taxi along with 26 other members of the Inkonyane Zion Church but had been left behind as she had taken too long to get ready.

“I would have been lying in the mortuary waiting to be buried,” she said.

The horror crash claimed the lives of Ngcamu’s father, two sisters and her brother.

“The taxi left me because I took forever to get ready. My father then said I should follow them in my car. As I was driving out of the house a call came through to say there had been an accident.”

Deli said when she approached the accident scene all she could see were the blue and white Zion church outfits of the passengers on the ground.

“The first person I identified at the scene was my father. He was badly injured, I think his head was smashed against a rock and cut open.”

Fano Ngcamu (78), Zodwa Ngcamu (55), Zanele Ngcamu (54), and Siyabulela Ngcamu (39) were all declared dead at the scene.

Speaking to the affected families on Monday, KZN Transport head of department Sibusiso Gumbi said while a preliminary report has indicated that the vehicle had faulty brakes, law enforcement agencies will work thoroughly to investigate the cause of the accident. “We believe we need to allow investigators the space to do a thorough job.

“We have observed that one of the causes was that the vehicle was overloaded. We also cannot rule out the issue of speeding. We want to allow the technical team to investigate and provide a conclusive report on the matter,” said Gumbi.

On Monday, KwaXimba was in mourning as grief and dismay continued to overcome families and friends.

Reggy Ngcamu, Deli’s nephew, said his life has been shattered after he lost his mother, aunt, uncle and grand­father in the crash.

The overloaded minibus had been transporting 26 members of the In­konyane Zion Church when the driver crashed into a bridge barrier and overturned, rolling down an embankment. The minibus taxi had been on its way to fetch more congregants when the accident happened.

The congregants had been on their way to a tombstone unveiling ceremony in the Umvini area.

“We are still trying to process this. To lose four family members at once is devastating. It feels like a bad dream, like we are going to wake up tomorrow and find them at home.”

Reggy said he had received a call around 10 am to tell him that a terrible accident had taken place.

“Arriving at the scene was a daunting and traumatic experience. Having to identify my mother’s body was so heartbreaking,” he said.

Three members of the Ndlovu family, Mbali Ndlovu (25), Nokuthula Ndlovu (32) and Gladness Thoko­zani Ndlovu-Zondi (48), died in the crash. Dumisani Ndlovu said the accident had been a big blow for his family. “This is a very difficult time for the family but we have to pick up the pieces and move on.”

Among those sobbing at the prayer meeting held at the KwaXimba hall yesterday was Zolile Mtolo.

Mtolo’s mother Ngipheni (56), and her elder sister Jabu Ngidi (39) also died. “It will take me a long time to forget what I saw at the scene. The image of all the bodies strewn across the ground will haunt me for a long time. We survived on my mother’s pension. I don’t know how we are going to put food on the table in futuure,” she said.

According to Santaco KZN, the minibus involved in the crash was not certified to transport passengers.

In a statement on its Facebook page, Santaco said the taxi did not have an operating licence and its insurance status is unknown.

“Passagers are urged to consult the taxi associations for transportation in order to travel in safe and roadworthy vehicles,” said the statement.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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