Sat Sep 23 00:32:18 SAST 2017

Michaelhouse bus crash victim a ‘great‚ cheerful‚ loving and caring’ young man

By Taschica Pillay | 2017-09-08 07:11:33.0

Themba Dloti was a young man whose life was cut horribly short in a KwaZulu-Natal bus crash this week — but he will be remembered as great‚ cheerful‚ loving and caring.

The Michaelhouse Grade 10 pupil died tragically on Tuesday when the bus that 45 soccer-playing boys and four staff members from the Balgowan-based private school were travelling in allegedly had a tyre blow-out and flipped onto its side on Town Hill‚ outside Pietermaritzburg.

A teacher and 13 children underwent surgery following the crash‚ while a number of other children were treated for various abrasions.

Dloti’s uncle‚ Kabelo Dloti‚ said the family was devastated by the loss.

13 Michaelhouse pupils and a teacher had surgery after bus crash 

“There is a lot to deal with around the incident. Themba’s parents went to Michaelhouse to receive a proper briefing of what happened and details around the incident. The family are now focused on the memorial service and funeral‚” said Dloti.

The family will be attending the service in the school’s chapel on Friday‚ where his life will be celebrated.

Dloti said Themba’s parents — dad Thabo‚ the former chief executive of Liberty Life and a member of the school’s board of governors‚ mum Thandeka and older brother Thabang — were grateful for all the support they have received following the tragic loss.

“Right now they are surrounded by close friends and family in the Midlands.”

Themba’s funeral service will take place on Tuesday at Gracepoint Church in Midrand‚ Johannesburg.

There will be a wall of remembrance‚ at the funeral‚ to celebrate Themba.

“We encourage you to bring messages‚ or photos‚ which were meaningful to you and Themba.

“Given the circumstances of Themba’s passing‚ and in keeping with the selfless way that he lived‚ instead of flowers please remember him by donating money to Sunfield Homes — a centre for intellectually disabled adults in Howick.”

He said the teenager had been home‚ in Johannesburg‚ during the July school holidays.

“He was a great‚ loving‚ cheerful and caring family member. He was into sport and played a lot of sporting codes. He was also part of the school’s choir that toured the UK during the July holiday‚” said Dloti.

Michaelhouse‚ one of the country’s elite private schools‚ received a flood of messages of support and condolences on their Facebook page from locals and people overseas‚ moments after news broke of the tragic accident.

Various Michaelhouse committees have been gathering in prayer around the country.

In a message on the school’s Facebook page on Thursday‚ the rector‚ Greg Theron‚ said he together with a number of staff members visited nine boys and one teacher who are still in various hospitals around Pietermaritzburg.

“They are generally in good spirits and were receiving many visitors when I spent time with each of them. Many still have follow-up surgery — some quite serious — to undergo‚” said Theron.

He said the school had appointed an independent investigation into the cause of the accident and expected the results soon.

“Our social media platforms have reached more than one and a quarter million concerned individuals. Together with newspaper articles‚ radio interviews and podcasts it is quite clear that the incident has touched many hearts and messages of concern and offers of assistance and encouragement continue to flood in from around the globe. The response is frankly overwhelming. Thank you‚ once again‚ to everyone who has shared this tragedy with us‚” he said.