April 3 will go down as one of the most painful days to remember for the families and friends of the sixteen passengers from Qwaqwa who were involved in an accident that left one dead and fifteen others seriously injured. According to police spokesperson, Sergeant Mmako Mophiring, a sixteen-seater minibus carrying these passengers was on its way to deliver pupils to the Retief Hoer Skool in Bethlehem from Qwaqwa in the early hours of Tuesday morning, before it veered off the road and crashed.
Mophiring said fifteen of the passengers were taken to different hospitals while one was declared dead on the scene. He said the cause of the accident was a rear right tyre burst and that a case of culpable homicide was opened for investigation. Sarah Lebuso, the chairperson of the Qwaqwa Scholar Transport Association (Qwasta), told Dumelang News that the taxi was in good conditions before being involved in the accident. She also confirmed that the cause of the accident was a tyre that had burst.
“I cannot confirm if the tyre was in good condition or not,” said Lebuso. She said it is not clear if the taxi was travelling at a high speed or not either because the accident happened on a slope.
Lebusho further passed her condolences to the affected families and wished them a speedy recovery on behalf of the association. Kamohelo Maya, the father of the deceased girl, Thembani Maya (13), said it was very difficult to accept that his daughter is no more.
Maya said his daughter was in Grade 8 and had very big dreams for the future. “She was always telling us that she wants to be an ambassador for Mzansi to the other countries when she completes her studies,” said Maya. He said life will never be the same without Thembani in the family.
“There are a lot of things we were expecting from her. She started using this mode of transport in the beginning of this year, as she comes from Welkom,” he said. The devastated Maya also mentioned that the reason for sending his daughter to a school far from home was because she wanted to keep on studying in Afrikaans as a medium of instruction.