Municipality to help bury family

Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

Part of the funeral costs of the five family members who were killed instantly when their car was involved in a collision with a truck will be borne by the Dannhauser municipality.

The crash happened at the Durnacol-Dannhauser intersection in Newcastle, northern KwaZulu-Natal, at the weekend.

The sixth family member, Joyce Masemola, 38, is in a critical condition at Newcastle Hospital.

The victims were on their way to town when their car overturned after it collided with a heavy goods truck.

The dead included Khethiwe Masemola, Xoli Masemola, Thuli Kubheka and Penelope Hadebe, all aged between 30 and 38, and two-year-old toddler Zethembe Masemola.

It is alleged that the driver of the truck did not stop at the intersection and collided with the family vehicle.

The local municipality took a resolution to help the victims with more than R10000 for the funeral costs.

The provincial transport department will also help towards the funeral costs.

The burial takes place at the weekend.

Dannhauser mayor Bongekile Shabalala said: "We have already organised a big tent for them to hold the memorial service and a night vigil.

"We will also pay towards the funeral costs."

Shabalala said it was painful to see the lives of people shattered in less than a second.

Yesterday, all the councillors from the municipality visited the grieving family at their home in Sweetwaters.

The province has been engulfed by an increase in road accidents. In less than 10 days, more than 30 lives have been lost.

Road Traffic Inspectorate (RTI) spokesman Collin Govender said most of the collisions were caused by driver irresponsibility.

"Most of our investigations showthat many deaths on our roads are the result of drunken driving and drivers who are on medication for chronic illnesses," he said.

Govender said pedestrians were also part of the problem on the roads.

"Drivers who try to avoid hitting pedestrians end up colliding with vehicles on the other side of the road," he said.

He said the transport department was working hard to reduce road accident deaths.

"We can only achieve this when people cooperate.

"We have intensified our law enforcement but drivers break the law when they do not see officers," he said.

In recent months the provincial transport department has spent millions of rands to assist in the funerals of those who have died in road accidents in the province.

The funds come from the department's road safety programme.