PRETORIA - The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) has promised to support the six Sekoma children who lost both their parents in last week's train collision in Mountain View, near Pretoria.
Sarah and Dick Sekoma and two others lost their lives and 620 were left injured after the collision.
It is believed the Sekoma family was travelling to town to sort out tertiary education for their 18-year-old daughter and to buy stationery for the other children.
"As Prasa we are very sad and disappointed, we are also hurt, we share your pain. Let's raise the kids together, take care of them and make sure they go to school and Prasa will assist where possible," said Mashila Matlala, a representative of the Prasa board.
Matlala was with transport minister Blade Nzimande on Wednesday as they visited the family to express their condolences. Nzimande told the board to help the now orphaned children.
“Prasa I hope your words don’t vanish in the air. Please make sure that these kids go to school, because that is what there parents would have wanted,” he said.
Eighteen-year-old Boitumelo and Paulinah,16, still covered in bandages from the train crash, were inconsolable as Nzimande spoke about the sadness he felt because of their parents' untimely death.
Three-year-old Gontse, who had a cast on her leg, sat on her aunt's lap, oblivious to the reality of losing her parents.
"She's still confused, she hasn't asked about her parents, she just sees a lot of people in the yard," said the children's aunt, Tsakane Nkumane.
Nkumane pleaded with Prasa to ensure trains were in better condition.
"All I'm asking is for the railway people to fix their trains because they endanger the lives of people. If the trains were in good condition and drivers had good communication, we wouldn't be meeting here today."
The couple will be laid to rest on Saturday in Soshanguve.
Last week it emerged that a breakdown in communication between a control officer and a driver led to the deadly crash.
African News Agency (ANA)