Double amputee Bruce Walsh, a survivor of the Planet Hollywood bombing. Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency (ANA)
Tuesday, August 25 1998 was the day many people had their lives irrevocably changed. On that day a bomb was planted beneath the foot rest of the bar in the Planet Hollywood restaurant at the V&A Waterfront.

That evening three of our group were standing, unwittingly, at the very spot where the bomb was planted, ordering drinks for the people seated at a table nearby, when the bomb exploded.

The three of us at the bar, Fanie Schoeman, Brian Duddy and Bruce Walsh, had our feet blown off our legs.

Andrew Paris, who had greeted us at the bar and was walking away at that very moment, had the back of his one leg blown away, and as a result nearly lost it.

Fanie Schoeman died that night on the floor of the restaurant, Brian Duddy lost consciousness, never to regain it, and died a few days later, while Bruce Walsh survived, after sustaining severe injuries and losing both his legs.

The people seated at the table were extremely traumatised and badly injured. Matty Duddy subsequently lost a leg, Antoinette Schoeman had burns to her feet and today has a hearing problem, while Claire Thorndike had her feet severely burnt.

Other diners, one of whom was Lara Gidding, a then 12-year-old British tourist who lost a leg, were badly affected, as were the staff.

The passers-by who rushed to the scene, the paramedics who arrived promptly to assist, the doctors and nurses who attended to us as the injured were rushed to hospitals around Cape Town, the extended families of those affected, the media and the people of Cape Town, all played a major role in ensuring that we were made safe, protected and healed.

Today, we stand proudly together because we are linked by the thread that intertwined all of us that dreadful night.

Twenty years ago, we, the staff of the human resources department of a bank in Cape Town, arranged to have a farewell dinner for two of our colleagues who were leaving us.

The venue was the Planet Hollywood restaurant. As a result of the chaos, trauma and injuries caused by the bomb explosion, we did not get to finish our meal that night.

So, today, 20 years later, we, the survivors of that traumatic bomb explosion, and our loved ones, will again be meeting, for lunch, at the V&A Waterfront, the purpose of which is to remember that dreadful day, to remember Fanie and Brian and for us to celebrate our lives and to finish that meal we did not get to eat all those years ago.

But most importantly, we want to demonstrate to the cowards who did this to us that we are survivors.

With the assistance of our support networks and the people of Cape Town, we were able to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves down and get on with living our lives.

We will never forget those who died that night and we will continue to celebrate the fact that we are alive.

The survivors of Planet Hollywood restaurant bomb blast