Council helps bereaved

VICTIM: Paramedics stabilise a woman who was hit by a crar on a busy freeway in KwaZulu-Natal. 19/07/07. © Sowetan.
VICTIM: Paramedics stabilise a woman who was hit by a crar on a busy freeway in KwaZulu-Natal. 19/07/07. © Sowetan.

Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

The Dannhauser Municipality will cover part of the costs of the funeral of five family members who were killed when their car collided with a heavy-goods truck at an intersection in Newcastle, northern KwaZulu-Natal.

The dead are baby Zethembe, Khethiwe Masemola, Xoli Masemola, Thuli Kubheka and Penelope Hadebe. A sixth family member Joyce Masemola, 38, is still in a critical condition in a Newcastle hospital's intensive care unit.

It's alleged that the driver of the truck did not stop at an intersection and collided with the Masemola's family car.

The local municipality took a resolution to help the victims by contributing towards the funeral costs.

The KwaZulu-Natal department of transport will also assist with the funeral costs.

The funerals will take place this weekend.

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

All the municipality's councillors visited the grieving family at their home in Sweetwaters on Tuesday.

KwaZulu-Natal has experienced an increase in road accidents with over 30 lives lost in less than ten days.

Collin Govender, provincial spokesman for Road Traffic Inspectorate, said most of the collisions were caused by recklessness.

"Our investigations reveal that many deaths are as a result of drunken driving and drivers who are on medication for chronic illnesses," he said.

He said pedestrians are also a huge problem on the roads.

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

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

"We can only achieve these when people cooperate. We have intensified our law enforcement but drivers break the law when they do not see officers."

In recent months the provincial transport department has coughed up millions of rands to assist with funeral costs of those who have died in road accidents.