A funeral instead of a wedding - bride-to-be killed in a crash

A funeral was held at GaMasemola for eight people who died last week. Pic. Antonio Muchave. © Sowetan.
A funeral was held at GaMasemola for eight people who died last week. Pic. Antonio Muchave. © Sowetan.

A Limpopo woman who was killed in a tragic crash last week was three months away from getting married.

Mmamangwidi Kula, 24, is one of nine people who perished when a minibus taxi they were travelling in collided with a truck along the R579 between Lebowakgomo and Jane Furse last week.

Thousands of people including Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi yesterday gathered at the local stadium in GaMasemola to pay their lasts respects during a mass funeral.

Only eight of the people were buried, while the funeral for the remaining victim would be held at a later date.

When Sowetan visited Mmamangwidi's family home in GaMasemola after the funeral yesterday, gospel music was blaring from a pair of loud speakers.

Mmamangwidi's older brother Alfred Kula said his sister was excited about her wedding that was to take place on September 30.

Nine people die after collision in Limpopo

She had already picked out her traditional attire, her shoes and the peach-coloured bridesmaids dresses. "She was so excited - as we all were. I was wishing her good luck."

He described Mmamangwidi as a loving and kind person who helped to look after his three children.

Alfred's children live in GaMasemola with their grandmother as he and his wife stay in Pretoria.

"She was such a darling to me. She was like a mother to my children."

Mmamangwidi's fiancé had asked for her hand in marriage last year. Alfred said the man and his family had attended the funeral, however, they could not do interviews out of respect for their culture.

Alfred's wife Punky said they would remember Mmamangwidi by playing gospel music. Punky described Mmamangwidi as a God-fearing woman and a hard worker.

Victims of Limpopo accident involving truck and taxi identified

On the morning of her death, Mmamangwidi, who completed her studies in human resources in 2015, was on the way to Lebowakgomo Hospital where she did her practicals.

Earlier yesterday, during the funeral service, the sound of a brass band could be heard in the background as pallbearers walked into the tent carrying the coffins.

The coffins were decked out with wreaths, and photographs of the victims were placed in a row next to the stage.

Among the grieving family members was Mmamangwidi's mother Josephine Kula.

Kula, who was wrapped in a black blanket, said she was shattered by her daughter's death. "This has broken my heart. She was the light and strength of my life. Mmamangwidi was a respectful and well-mannered child. We were expecting great things from her," she said.

A representative from each of the affected families took to the podium to give a brief message of support. Other people who died include Mitchell Masemola, Mathari Sefoka, Ramakgwale Mamphole, Rapolai John Ramaru, Taelo Talane, Pududu Maphuthuma and Magadishe Nkobo.

While addressing the mourners, Maswanganyi said he had come to show support for the bereaved families.

Maswanganyi said people continued to disregard the laws by overtaking recklessly, driving while intoxicated and texting on their cellphones.

"We are not saying that we can stop death, but we can minimise it by following the rules of the road," he said.