Thirteen members of the Mndali family from Kilmun area near Underberg in the KwaZulu-Natal midlands have been laid to rest. They died in a road crash last weekend. Family members are grappling to come to terms with the horror crash and the untimely loss of their loved ones.

The mood was sombre at the funeral.

It is alleged that the driver of the minibus taxi lost control and crashed down an embankment near Underberg.

Investigation into the accident 

Provincial Premier Sihle Zikalala and Transport MEC Bheki Ntuli attended the funeral. Zikalala says investigations into the crash are ongoing.

“The investigation is continuing but we want to report that what we have established is that this was not a registered taxi and therefore, it was not part of any association or transporting communities, that it was transporting the family members. It is difficult to say what happened because most of the people who were inside the taxi passed on and the driver himself died. So,  we are faced with that but the investigation is still ongoing.”

Zikalala has urged motorists to be cautious and responsible on the roads to avoid unnecessary fatalities.

“The vehicle was not licensed and that is one of the problems. Since the country entered Level 1 we have had 77 car accidents in which we have lost 106 lives. This is terrible and that’s why we are saying that out of this tragedy let us learn, let us be responsible in whatever we’re doing or wherever we are whilst we are driving.”

Zikalala speaks about the investigation: 

Orphans 

The Mndali family is concerned that the deceased’s children are now young orphans who face a bleak future without support.

Family spokesperson Maqalaza Mndali says, “The challenge we are facing is these orphans that are left behind. Who is going to support them? We don’t know what we are going to do.”

Transport Month

Meanwhile, KwaZulu-Natal Transport MEC Bheki Ntuli says it is disheartening that more than 70 people have died in road accidents during Transport Month.

This past weekend we were under a dark cloud because in that weekend alone 23 people died in road accidents. In just one month, 77 people have died in accidents in the province. This is happening in October as we celebrate Transport Month and are doing awareness campaigns.”