Shock as Soweto family buries eight of its members in one funeral

The burial of eight Ntombela family members in Soweto yesterday shocked relatives and the Chiawelo community. The Ntombelas died in a road accident as they were travelling back home from a family ceremony in Mahikeng, North West. / Mduduzi Ndzingi
The burial of eight Ntombela family members in Soweto yesterday shocked relatives and the Chiawelo community. The Ntombelas died in a road accident as they were travelling back home from a family ceremony in Mahikeng, North West. / Mduduzi Ndzingi

Relatives of eight Soweto family members who perished in a car crash have been left devastated by the accident.

Thirteen members of the Ntombela family were travelling from Mahikeng two weeks ago when their vehicle had a tyre burst, resulting in the deaths of eight people.

Six of the deceased Jane, 66, her daughters Nokukhanya 34, and Nonhlanhla 36, grandchildren Mthokozisi, 13, Lindokuhle, 19 and Kamogelo, were buried at Olifantsvlei Cemetery outside Lenasia yesterday.

Two other family members, Jabulani Gamede and his son, were buried in Orange Farm on Saturday.

Out of the five family members who survived the crash, three are still in hospital fighting for their lives while two, including the driver, were released.

Mandla Ntombela, 29, who lost his mother, siblings, niece and nephew, said he learned of the tragedy from from his uncle.

"When my uncle called me from the scene, I was very confused and I did not want to believe what he was telling me," Mandla said.

"When I arrived in the area, I went to the police station that's where I got answers because everybody who could give me answers was taken to hospital in critical state."

Mandla said the family was reeling in shock and devastation.

"I cannot believe we lost all of them at once in such a horrific and heartbreaking way. These were people I was born with, and my mother," he said.

Family spokesperson Morgan Ntombela said the family was travelling in a Toyota Hilux bakkie when the vehicle's tyre burst.

"It is a very difficult time for us as the family right now.

"We are in shock and disbelief. This has never happened in our family but today we found ourselves burying eight people on one weekend," Morgan said.

Yesterday, hundreds of Chiawelo residents came out to give the deceased a decent send-off.

Ward councillor Jabulani Mnisi said the deaths have shaken the community.

"We will make sure they [Ntombela family] continue to get counselling for the psychological devastation they have had to face," said Mnisi yesterday.

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