Sat Apr 19 21:36:53 SAST 2014
Sat Apr 19 21:36:53 SAST 2014

Mother's wedding bells turn to grief

Dec 20, 2012 | Pertunia Ratsatsi |   22 comments

INSTEAD of arranging a wedding, a family in Hammanskraal found themselves arranging a funeral.

IN MOURNING: Mapula Chuma of Hammanskraal, near Pretoria, lost her daughter Karabo the day before her wedding. Photo: PEGGY NKOMO

Karabo Chuma, 12, was walking home with her mother Mapula Chuma and Mapula's sister Joyce Mthombeni at about 8pm on Friday when Karabo was run over by a car, allegedly driven by a drunk driver.

Mapula Chuma was supposed to get married the following day and the family was preparing to welcome the in-laws the next morning.

"When the in-laws arrived no one said a word about the wedding. The families discussed the funeral instead of my lobola," Chuma said.

She said they were walking home on a gravel road when the accident happened.

"My daughter was behind me and my cousin was the last one. We were walking in a line because only pedestrians use that road," she said.

"I suddenly felt a cold breeze passing next to me from the front. When I looked back, I saw people flying then falling down.

"They were hit by a blue bakkie that sped off. I then ran after the car waving my hands, hoping that the driver would stop."

Mapula said she went to check on the people who were hit and they were not moving.

Mthombeni said she did not see anything.

"I was walking behind Karabo and we were laughing so hard. I did not even see the car lights nor hear the car sound. I woke up in hospital."

Chuma said the police did not ask her anything.

"They did not even take my address or my telephone number. I waited for them all weekend and they did not come."

Chuma said she learnt from a friend on Monday that the driver was released on bail.

"He killed my child at about 8pm and he was a free man by midnight," she said.

"My child died and he will get away with it because the police are not doing their job."

Police spokeswoman Lieutenant Sarah Lesabane said the fact that the police and paramedics were at the accident scene meant the family received attention.

"There is no way that the police could neglect such a serious case.

"The man was arrested and he was taken to hospital to have his blood tested because he was driving under the influence," she said.

"He was in custody and he was taken to court from the cells. I cannot confirm if he is out on bail because I am not in possession of the docket."

Lesabane said the driver was charged with culpable homicide and drunken driving, and that investigations were continuing.

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