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Day of mourning for KZN - Premier

By unknown | Mar 07, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

Thousands of mourners crammed into Curries Fountain stadium in Durban yesterday to pray for road accidents to stop after the loss of 33 lives this week.

Bereaved families were embraced with messages of support from different church leaders and members of the provincial cabinet led by Premier S'bu Ndebele.

Ndebele declared "Thursday a day of mourning" for all affected people in the province following four horrific accidents in less than three hours.

The prayer day was joined by 2,7million pupils who prayed for the deceased during their morning assemblies. Flags also flew at half mast.

Three distressed women were taken to hospital after they fainted as Ndebele read the names of the deceased.

The mourners broke into tears when an emotional MEC for transport Bheki Cele explained how the people died.

"These accidents clearly show that it was human error. Our drivers need to take extra precautions to save lives on our roads," Cele said.

Thobile Dlamini, one of the three women taken to hospital after fainting, said her fiance Linda Ncamu died in an accident involving a bakkie and VW Golf near Shongweni.

She said Ncamu was a contract worker at Rainbow Chicken Farm.

Ncamu had been unemployed for a long time and was only called to start work on Monday - the day of his death.

Addressing mourners, Ndebele said Monday, March 3, will never be forgotten by the people of KwaZulu-Natal.

"Monday was really a terrible day for our province. We are all in pain.

"We should say it is enough now. Drivers who kill innocent people on our roads should be held accountable," Ndebele said.

He said the people of South Africa should take a leaf from China and India.

"I'm surprised that these countries, which have more people than South Africa, have far less accidents.

"They have cattle on their roads, bicycles and cars, but they have fewer accidents. Why?"

Ndebele said South Africans need to build a normal country by ensuring they drive responsibly to save lives.

"Most people who die on our roads are breadwinners. They leave their families in a terrible situation," he said.

He applauded taxi owners and drivers for ensuring that passengers were safe and were treated with respected while using public transport.

Ndebele urged church leaders to take care of the bereaved families so that they can recover and carry on with life.


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