Durban - Four sisters are inconsolable after they each lost a child in a horror accident north of Durban involving a road grader.
The Magwaza cousins - Hlengiwe, 11, Zanele, 4, Langelihle, also 4, and Busisani, 2 - were returning home from crèche in KwaBhanoyi, a rural village in Ndwedwe near Verulam, when tragedy struck.
They were run over by the grader, whose driver allegedly then fled.
Three of the children died at the scene and Langelihle later at the Osindisweni Hospital.
Hlengiwe had gone to fetch her three younger cousins from crèche on Tuesday afternoon, the family said on Wednesday.
The four heartbroken mothers – Zandi, Buyi, Slindile and Zinhle Magwaza – were crying hysterically when the Daily News arrived at their home on Wednesday.
A neighbour, Thembisile Ndlovu, said she had gone to the accident scene and had never seen such a gruesome sight.
“I heard people screaming ‘help’ and I ran behind them to the scene. I saw a human brain for the first time… One of the children was still shaking,” said Ndlovu, who almost collapsed when she took the Daily News to the dirt road where the children died.
She said most people who had gone to the scene were crying.
Ndlovu said the driver of the vehicle had been hired by a company that had been grading roads in the area for some time.
She said he was not from Ndwedwe, but had been renting a room in the area.
The man had apparently been driving the grader back to his residence after his shift.
The road is narrow and dusty with bushes along the verge.
The grader appears to have hit the children after rounding a sharp bend.
The children’s aunt, Khanyisile Magwaza, said she had been at the extended family home with two of the mothers when the incident happened. She said the mothers were too distraught to talk about it.
A local boy had run to the home to tell them the children had been in an accident, Magwaza said.
She said Hlengiwe, the eldest child, had gone to the crèche to fetch the other children as usual.
“When we arrived, there were three of them lying on the road. The other one had already been taken to hospital.
“They were all severely injured, especially Zanele… Their heads were crushed. I just lost all the energy seeing my children’s blood spilt on the road,” she said. “The most painful thing is that the driver just ran.”
Magwaza said: “My sisters are inconsolable. These girls just lost all their children at the same time. Can you imagine that there are no more children at this home because of this accident?”
The owner of the Silindokuhle crèche, Fikile Masinga, confirmed that the three children had been walking home with their older cousin.
“I don’t know what to say… We are still shocked and I can hardly eat. I don’t know what to explain to the other kids who had been asking why they are not here today.”
Police spokesman, Colonel Jay Naicker, said charges of culpable homicide, as well as reckless and negligent driving, were being investigated by Ndwedwe SAPS.
“The suspect left the Caterpillar (grader) and fled.”