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Durban - The names of the 22 people who died in the Field’s Hill truck accident have been released. Almost all were passengers in the four taxis that were hit when the truck smashed through the intersection where the traffic light had just turned green for waiting traffic.
This week The Mercury visited the families of some of the dead to hear about the mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters and children who never came home last Thursday night.
Zinhle Cele, 31, was on her way home to KwaNdengezi after her mother sent her to buy the month’s groceries in Pinetown.
She left at about four in the afternoon and we waited for her to return until the next morning. Then a neighbour told us her daughter had been in the accident. We found Zinhle at the morgue,” her younger sister, Nokubonga, said.
Cele is survived by her six-year-old daughter and four-year-old son.
Bonginkosi Zungu, 39, was one of the drivers of the destroyed taxis. His cousins, Simon Dlamini, 36, and Sibonelo Dlamini, 39, were in the taxi with him. They were all killed.
They had been staying with their cousin, Sibonelo Zungu.
“When I got there I looked and could not find them, it was only after my taxi was pointed out that I saw Bonginkosi’s lifeless body was still in the taxi. I found the others at the morgue,” Zungu said.
The Dlaminis had been visiting the Zungus from Swaziland.
Sandile Shozi, 51, a father-of-two, had been on the way home from work in Pinetown when he died.
His youngest son, Msizi, 19, said: “The last time we spoke I had just received my matric results from last year and I had passed really well. He had promised that this week he would do something special for me.”
Ntombifuthi Nompula, 21, had been on her way home from a part-time job she secured after taking a management course.
Her mother waited for her and was concerned when she did not arrive home at the usual time.
“Her sister, Thembisa, made some calls and found out she had not been admitted to any of the hospitals.
“Later we were told to go to the Pinetown morgue and that’s where her body was found,” her mother said.
Twenty-four-year-old Nompumelelo Phindile Ndlovu’s big dream was to buy herself a bed, her aunt Pretty Khumalo said.
“Phindile did piece jobs. And every time she found a job I would tell her to buy more bedding for the bed.” She had been on the way home from one of these jobs when she died.
Clerment Chonco, 36, was on his way home from work to Hammarsdale when he was killed.
“Clerment was our eldest brother and we depended on him for almost everything,” said his sister, Thabisile.
The money he made fed and clothed his seven-year-old son and his sisters. The family found out that Chonco had been in the accident from a friend, who had also been in the taxi.
“They were together in a taxi but, when he didn’t see him at the hospital, he asked us where he was. We found him in at the morgue,” she said.
The names of the dead are: Nompumelelo Mnguni; Elizabeth Phumelele Mokuatle; Bonginkosi Zungu; Simon Dlamini; Zinhle Cele; Sindi Mthiyane; Sibonelo Dlamini; Clerment Chonco; Mfano Stanley Mhlongo; Lethukuthula Vilakazi; Thulisile Nyandeni; Ntombifuthi Nompula; Arnaldo Balate; KB Mabhida; Mduduzi Nyaba; Nompumelelo Phindile Ndlovu; Paulos Maritlane; S Hlophe; N J Dlamini; Sandile Desmus Shozi; Bonginkosi Khalakahla; N Nhlabathi.