Young sisters in taxi collision tragedy

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sa taxi killing 353 Motshwari Mofokeng SHATTERED: Jeffrey Chauke holds a photo of his deceased niece, Lenda Chauke (16), who was killed by a minibus on her way to school in Diepsloot early yesterday morning. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng

NTOMBI NDHLOVU

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On the table in a small kitchen, lies a pink diary with blue numerical scribbling on it. It will never be written in again.

The teenager who kept it, Lenda Chauke, 16, died yesterday morning on her way to school.

A taxi mowed her down and slammed into her little sister, Letti, 11. The minibus taxi dragged Lenda 50 metres before stopping.

She died on the scene. Letti is now at Chris Hani Baragwananth Hospital fighting for her life. Her right leg has been shattered and the family fears she will be crippled.

The tragic accident happened just before 8am yesterday morning on the R511 in Diepsloot. ER24 spokeswoman, Vanessa Jackson said the windscreen of the vehicle was completely smashed.

The Chauke family said it was hard for them to describe the sisters, as the two girls had been through a lot in the past year.”

“Their mother died last year and their father has showed no care in their upbringing,” said their grandfather, Elias Ngobeni.

“We don’t know how that affected them,” added Ngobeni. “But Lenda was a good sister to Letti. She took care of Letti because she knew they were all alone and orphaned.”

Lenda’s first three entries revealed some insight into the teenager’s thoughts.

Her entries are addressed to God and she pleads with Him to help her and at times she thanks Him for His guidance. On December 3, she wrote:”My Father, I know you are the person that I trust in the world. Please fix my head because I am in pain.” A day later she wrote again: “I thank my God for making me feel better today.”

The family does not seem to harbour any anger towards the minibus taxi driver.

He has not been arrested.

A family friend, however, is furious. “He has to be arrested. He has to pay. He has caused death and maybe even disability,” said Rueben Lebea, who is haunted by Lenda’s last words.

“She came to me and said ‘Goodbye, but I will be seeing you soon.’ She had never said goodbye to me before,” said Lebea. Last year, the girls did not attend school. Their uncle, Jeffrey Chauke, said there was “too much upheaval and grief in the family” that made it difficult for the girls to attend school.”

This year they started school and this happens,” he added, his head bowed. The family is concerned about not having enough money for the funeral and whether they have the financial resources to help Letti cope, especially if she has been crippled.

“We don’t even have recent pictures of them,” added Chauke. “We want to lay Lenda in peace in Rustenburg. We want her to be close to her mother,” said Chauke.

Wayne Minnaar, JMPD spokesman said the driver was being investigated for culpable homicide.


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