Insure your car, home and valuables with iWYZE
It was tragedy upon tragedy at the weekend, when six people, including a home affairs official, were seriously injured when a marquee collapsed at the funeral of seven schoolchildren killed in a road accident.
The funeral service took place in Bulwer on Saturday, and had already ended when the massive marquee collapsed.
Most people attending the service had already left, but a small crowd was still under the structure when it collapsed.
Strong winds have been blamed for the incident.
Home Affairs spokesman, Ronnie Mamoepa, confirmed that senior home affairs official Bushy Sekhu was critically injured in the incident.
“Sekhu was taken to a local clinic, and then to a Pietermaritzburg hospital before being airlifted to a Durban hospital for treatment,” Mamoepa said.
Home Affairs minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma also attended the funeral. Bulwer is her parliamentary constituency.
The aunt of one of the children who died said that she was shocked when she heard the marquee collapsed.
“This has been such a traumatic week for us all… and then to have this happen and more people injured… It makes you so scared and angry. I pray that the injured are all right,” Andiswa Dladla said.
The children were killed on Monday when the bakkie they were travelling in overturned on the R617 between Bulwer and Underberg.
The accident claimed the lives of 10 children as well as the driver of the bakkie.
The bakkie driver was ferrying 19 children from Donnybrook and Blessed Luanda primary schools when he lost control of the vehicle.
The other nine were injured. All the pupils were under the age of 15.
Traffic officers later confirmed that it was misty and dark in the area at the time of the accident.
Department of Transport spokesman, Kwanele Ncalane, said according to witnesses, the driver was trying to overtake on a sharp bend.
“There is a challenge that needs to be addressed about children and people in rural areas being transported on the back of bakkies on roads that are uneven and bumpy.
“There are discussions, even at national level, currently taking place regarding this. We are hoping to find a solution so we can start providing transport for learners,” Ncalane said.