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train surfer buried

By unknown | Feb 25, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Penwell Dlamini and Tebogo Monama

Penwell Dlamini and Tebogo Monama

Another teenager was buried on Saturday after he was electrocuted while train surfing at Inhlazane station in Soweto 11 days ago.

Friends, soccer team-mates and fellow train surfers came in their numbers to bid farewell to Lebogang Mashilwane in Molapo.

The 16-year-old Grade 11 pupil at Seana Marena Secondary School in Mapetla died on Valentine's Day.

His father, Simon Mashilwane, yesterday said: "We knew that his friends were train surfers, but he denied it when we asked if he was also doing it ."

He said the most traumatic thing for him was fetching his son's body from the train station.

"Most parents do not collect their children's bodies," he said.

"These won't listen. When you tell them about the dangers of train surfing, they say that their mothers have registered them with burial societies. What can you say to that?"

But, mourners described him as a respectful boy.

Former train surfer Xolani Ngwane warned youngsters about train surfing. "I urge every young person here never to play this dangerous game because it kills, he said."

Ngwane told Sowetan that he had been a train surfer for six years but stopped last year when he saw his friends dying.

He could not explain how he got himself into train surfing, but said it started when they came back from school by train, and it became a habit.

While the family was being consoled inside the tent, outside Mashilwane's team-mates blew vuvuzelas and sang songs paying tribute to him.

When it was time to leave for Avalon Cemetery, chaos erupted. Police had to fire rubber bullets at the crowd of boys who were misbehaving.

At every burial of a train surfer boys jump on top of buses and break their windows "as a tribute to a soldier who died on duty".

On Friday night more than 100 youngsters gathered at the station where Mashilwane was killed "as a tribute to our fellow surfer".

They stood on railway tracks facing on-coming trains, danced and tried to stop the approaching trains.


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