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Durban - Two days after the fatal Reed Dance bus accident in KwaZulu-Natal, teachers in Mzumbe near Hibberdene on the South Coast were still battling to find out how many of their pupils had been killed or injured.
Another girl has died at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital, bringing the death toll to 10.
The number of those injured is more than 60.
The girl had been flown from Ngwelezane Hospital in Zululand because of her critical condition.
Teachers at the
Mabuthela and Buhlebethu high schools in KwaNdelu village said they were waiting for reports from parents, who were still in Eshowe and Empangeni looking for their children at hospitals and mortuaries.
“Muntu Lukhozi, from the education department, has called us, which is a sign that we might have lost pupils,” said one teacher.
One of the dead was Thandane Mbutho, 20, a Grade 12 pupil at Buhlebethu.
Her friends and former schoolmates, cousins Noxolo and Nondumiso Mnguni, had also died.
The two had moved to Durban where Noxolo was studying catering at the Durban University of Technology and Nondumiso was completing Grade 11 at Brindhavan Secondary School in Chatsworth.
Noxolo’s mother, Sbongile Mnguni, was also on the bus and is being treated at Ngwelezane Hospital near Empangeni.
KZN Transport Department spokesman Kwanele Ncalane said the full list of names of the dead would be released today.
A group of provincial cabinet members including Human Settlement and Public Works MEC Ravi Pillay, Education MEC Senzo Mchunu, who is also the acting premier, Local Government and Traditional Affairs MEC Nomusa Dube and provincial legislature Speaker Peggy Nkonyeni visited the families of some of the victims and held a prayer meeting at a sports field on Tuesday.
ANC provincial secretary Sihle Zikalala accompanied them.
When they visited the Mbutho homestead, men were clearing the garden to dig a grave for Thandane.
Her older sister, Zamekile Mbutho, said Thandane had been passionate about attending the Reed Dance.
“This was the first time she attended the ceremony. Ever since she became a teenager, my sister talked about going to Enyokeni,” said Zamekile.
Thandane’s aunt, Ntombifikile Sithole, said her niece wanted to be a nurse.
“She was friendly, but always avoided boys because she thought that they would distract her from her dreams,” said Sithole.
Sbonelo Mnguni said his sister, Noxolo, and cousin Nondumiso loved cooking and feeding visitors who came to see his father, Jabulani Mnguni, a traditional leader.
“Both of them wanted to become professional chefs,” he said.
“My sister would help me with my school work because she was very intelligent,” said Mnguni.