Cape Town - A pregnant woman and her friend were killed when they were hit by a train in Kuils River.
Sarah Kanyonga, 24, who was two months pregnant, and Judith Mutamba, 28, were crossing the railway line about 100m from Kuils River station when they were hit by a train at 4.22pm on Thursday.
Police could not confirm reports on Friday that Mutamba was also pregnant.
The women were apparently intercepted by railway guards before they crossed the track but managed to elude them, said police spokesman November Filander.
Kanyonga’s friend, Clément Kalenda, who lives near the station, said he had been shocked to discover his friend had been killed.
“I heard it happening. When I came out to look I didn’t expect it to be anyone I knew. I was shocked to see it was Sarah,” Kalenda said.
Kalenda confirmed that Kanyonga was expecting her first child. “She was two months pregnant.”
Kanyonga had shared a flat with Delphin Mayinga and his wife. Mayinga said she had been studying English at a college in Salt River.
With tears welling up, he said yesterday: “I saw her this morning, she was cooking, and then she left for school… She called me at about 3pm and told me she was in the area… and that was the last I heard from her.”
Mutamba’s brother-in-law, John Mutamba, said he had been at work when his brother, Mutamba’s husband, had called him.
“All he said was is ‘my wife is dead’.”
Mutamba had been in SA for nine months and was looking for a job. She and Kanyonga had come to SA from the DRC.
Mutamba said Judith had come to SA before her friend Kanyonga, “but they knew each other from Congo… I feel bad for my younger brother because he lost a good friend”.
Metrorail staff were shocked by the incident, said Mthuthuzeli Swartz, Metrorail’s regional head.
“Two young women died in the prime of their lives and two families have to come to terms with the incredible loss of loved ones,” Swartz said.
Swartz said the public should always use overhead bridges and subways to cross rail tracks.
Police have opened an inquest docket.