Pretoria - Amid allegations that the driver of the bus that killed 15 people in Ga-Rankuwa was a foreign national who did not have proper documents to be on the road, there are growing calls for the government to ensure that authorities investigate and report the cause of the tragic accident to give families closure.
At Least 10 women and five men died when the bus, which was allegedly speeding, collided with a car on the road between Ga-Rankuwa and Tshwane on Friday morning.
Francina Kgomo was one of the first people at the scene, as she got off another bus to check on her son, Keabetswe Chira, 27, who was in the bus involved in the accident.
Chira was also among the 37 people taken to the Dr George Mukhari, Steve Biko Academic Hospital and Kalafong Hospital after the crash.
Kgomo struggled to speak and contain her tears as she relived the ordeal. She said she was still having flashbacks of the crash scene as they tried to save the people in the wreck.
“As a parent you can try to imagine arriving at a horrific scene where you know your own child was involved and you have to try to find him and you pray to God he is still alive. I was shaking and I was all over the place calling for my son.
“My son and I ride together from Ga-Rankuwa Zone 1 to Dr George Mukhari Academic Hospital where he then takes a bus to Centurion and I take the one going to Midrand every morning.
“Their bus is typically faster than ours so we were following from behind. When we were approaching the scene I knew that he was on that bus. We tried to save those who were still.
“My son was under the wreck and dead bodies were on top of him. They had to cut through the wreck to remove him from under the bus. In fact, everyone was amazed that he was still alive. Doctors now say he broke all his hands and legs.
“I have really seen the mercy of God, because I was screaming and calling for my son and he answered. As he heard my voice, he said, ‘Mommy please help me,’ but he could not move. There was nothing we could do but call ambulances to come and help. Although they took time, I thank God for his life.”
Unions such as the SA Transport and Allied Workers Union, political parties like Action SA, and leaders such as Tshwane mayor Randall Williams have all urged authorities to investigate what transpired to ensure the truth was uncovered.
Gauteng MEC for Public Transport and Roads Infrastructure Jacob Mamabolo, who visited the injured at Dr George Mukhari Academic Hospital with his Tshwane counterpart, MMC Dikeledi Selowa, was questioned about the allegations made on social media, but he refused to entertain questions “during a sensitive period”.
He pleaded with the media and the public “... not to be drowned in speculations right now, but to allow the right experts and authorities who have the capacity to investigate and then reveal to the public what was found to have caused the accident.”
Mamabolo said there would be a report into this accident, and that it would be made available to the families so that they could find their closure and have the answers to their questions
“It is important that the families of the deceased also get that information and of course those who are injured are also looking forward to that information. At this point, let us not throw things into the environment because that will create confusion. It will even deepen the pain. Let’s have the capacity to wait for the most correct information with proper facts. That way we will all know the truth,” said Mamabolo.
Selowa said they would be visiting the families of the dead, and through engagements, find out what support they might need.