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Sibongile Mashaba and Sapa
A family birthday celebration ended abruptly when it received news about a tragic accident in which four of its members were killed, in a horror crash involving three vehicles that claimed nine lives.
Six members of the family from Lenasia, south of Johannesburg, were travelling in a Mazda 3 vehicle when their car collided head-on with a taxi and a Ford Bantam bakkie on the N12, Lenasia.
The taxi driver and four passengers, two women, a male and a two-year-old were certified dead on the scene. Their identities have not yet been released.
The driver and passenger in the bakkie were seriously injured. Their names are also not known.
The deceased family members in the third car have been identified as Louis Dumper, her mother-in-law Shakaiela Dumper, 50, Herean Dumper, 14, and Jaypal Ramsaroob, 55.
One survivor Jayhendra, who was driving the car, was rushed to Lenmed Clinic in Lenasia, while Shakaiela Dumper's husband Boyia, who is in his late 50s, was recovering at the Chris Hani-Baragwanath Hospital.
A close family friend, Gino Moonsamy, told Sowetan yesterday that the news had devastated the family.
The birthday celebration was in Mondeor, south of Johannesburg.
"When we received the call the first thing that came to our minds was: "are they okay?"
"But when we got to the scene there were bodies everywhere," said the visibly shaken Moonsamy.
Moonsamy said that the family was still busy with funeral arrangements.
Netcare 911 spokesman Nick Dollman said: "Paramedics attended to a total of 20 patients. Fire-fighters had to use the jaws-of-life to free several of the dead and injured from the wreckages."
Dollman said it appeared as if the car had came from the wrong side of the road.
"One of the vehicles crossed over from the other side of the highway," he said.