seven people killed in head-on collision

Penwell Dlamini

Penwell Dlamini

A 12-year-old girl who survived a horrific head-on collision that killed seven people told of how they had some near-misses before the fatal crash.

"The driver complained of fatigue. He veered off the road on more than one occasion. Finally, I saw bright lights and the next thing everybody was screaming," said Nomathemba Nkosi.

She was in the car with her mother and her mother's in-laws. Her mother, Nonhlanhla Nkosi, died in the accident. The driver of the other vehicle, a bakkie, and three passengers, Sipho Xaba, Sibusiso Khumalo and an as-yet-to-be-identified passenger also died.

Nomathemba is the only survivor of the crash who could relate what happened as she lay in pain in a ward at the Leratong Hospital on the West Rand.

Only two people survived the horrific accident - Nomathemba and Vin Maduma who is in a coma at Chris Hani-Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto.

"Vilakazi, our driver, complained that he was tired and sleepy and wanted some rest. We pulled over and he refreshed. He then asked Sibusiso to drive," said Nomathemba.

"People in the car were not happy with Sibusiso's driving, so we pulled over again and Vilakazi took the wheel again. The next thing I remember was everyone screaming and shouting, and that was it."

The Grade 6 pupil from Swaneville broke both her legs in the crash. The six were travelling in a Ford Meteor, returning from Vryheid in KwaZulu-Natal where there was a traditional ceremony for Thokozani Maduma, Nonhlanhla's husband, who died a month ago.

The accident took place on Main Reef Road next to Cresswell Park in the early hours of Monday.

Sinah Nkosi, Nomathemba's grandmother, said: "I received a call from the hospital after 3am asking me if I knew Nomathemba. This was because they saw my missed call on Nonhlanhla's phone."

She then found her granddaughter alive in hospital.

"My daughter had been saying since last week that she no longer wanted to live because her husband died mysteriously."

Mpumi Maduma, 25, and her brother Sibusiso, were both passenger from the sedan who died in the crash.

"I do not know what to do now. I have just lost two children and another one is in coma," said Michael Maduma, their father.

West Rand police spokesman Captain Siphiwe Ndlovu said they were investigating a case of culpable homicide.