Mkhululi Ncube, Sunday News Reporter
FIVE family members of the Mkandla family who died in a horrific car accident in Polokwane, South Africa were yesterday laid to rest at West Park Cemetery in Bulawayo.
The five bodies arrived in the city at about 1.30pm due to delays experienced at the border and a short funeral service was held at Doves Funeral Parlour.
Few speakers addressed a few mourners at the family house in Entumbane as the family tried to follow Covid-19 protocols.
Family representative Mr Isaac Ncube said the death of their children was a life changing moment for the family.
“What is sad is that the father of these children also died in a sad way and his body never entered his home.To have his children also dying in this manner and not being taken to their home is painful to us. We need psychological support, especially the mother. If she doesn’t get counselling it will be a disaster,” said Mr Ncube.
He said it was a difficult moment coming face to face with their bodies but said through the support from the community they managed to find strength.
Another relative Mr Morgan Gumede praised the Government, organisations and members of the public who assisted the family during the dark hour.
“It is an emotional moment for everyone. We lost our children in a very sad manner and having to bury five of our family members will be difficult to accept. We thank our Government and all who supported us to make this task bearable,” said Mr Gumede.
Speaking at the same occasion Entumbane- Emakhandeni Member of Parliament Mr Dingilizwe Tshuma said the death of the five family members touched everyone.
“This really hit everyone hard. It is difficult to accept. The whole country is mourning hence the assistance we received from the Government and various other people from across the world,” said Mr Tshuma.
It was an emotional funeral with some family members fainting during body viewing which was done by few relatives.
Mourners only managed to view four bodies as one of the bodies tested positive for Covid-19 and remained in the mortuary when others were taken to the chapel. The five were laid to rest side by side in four graves with Nomasiko Mkandla being laid to rest with her son on top of her coffin.
Meanwhile, the sixth person who died in the same accident was also buried at Athlone Cemetery yesterday.
The sixth was Vusumuzi ‘Makukisi’ Mhlanga (37) from Magwegwe West in Bulawayo. His relative said the family lost a bread winner as he was also taking care of his brother’s children whose parent’s whereabouts are unknown. His relative Ms Ntando Ndlovu said her brother was a well-known malayitsha and his death was a huge blow to the family.
“I spoke to him around the time the accident happened and he just said wait I will call you just now. I think that is the time the accident happened. He leaves behind his wife Pressure Ndlovu who works at the Registrar’s office and two children. He was also taking care of two of his brother’s children. So the bread winner is gone,” she said.
The Government provided support to the two families with each body receiving ZW$10 000, while the Government also said it will reimburse the money used to transport the bodies from South Africa.
The six died when their car was involved in a head-on collision and during the process another car rammed the side of their car.
They were trapped and emergency services in South Africa had to cut open the car to retrieve them.
Three of them died on the spot while Thulani, the car owner and the one who was driving when the accident happened, was thrown out of the vehicle on impact and died in hospital.
The deceased were named as Nomasiko Mkandla (33) who died together with her four-year-old son Jayden Moabe, Mluleki Mkandla (30), Thulani Mkandla (26), Mthabisi Mkandla (22) the last born in the family and a malayitsha friend identified as Vusumuzi ‘Makukisi’ Mhlanga who was accompanying them.