Two families perish in horror SUV crash

By CHARLENE SOMDUTH Time of article published Oct 18, 2019

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Durban - SUMAN Singh would have celebrated his 21st birthday on Tuesday.

However, family and friends were mourning his death this week, as well as that of his parents and sister.

The family were travelling in their recently purchased Porsche SUV, when it collided with a Toyota Fortuner, at about 10pm on Saturday night, on the N11 near Ladysmith, northern KwaZulu-Natal.

The Singh family lived in Newcastle and owned Deez Auto Electrical, in the town. On Saturday night, they visited their family in Ladysmith.

The crash occurred while they were on their way home.

In the car was Singh’s dad, Dheeraj, 41, who was driving, his mother, Ronitha, 40, and sister Sanjana, 16, a Grade 10 pupil at Newcastle High School.

According to Bheki Ntuli, the MEC for Transport in KZN, preliminary reports indicated that the Porsche was speeding when it collided, head-on, with a Toyota Fortuner.

The impact caused both vehicles to catch fire.

Four occupants in the Toyota Fortuner also burnt to death.

They were Tonderai Godfrey Sithole, 38, his wife, Faith, 36, and their children, Shalom, 10, and Shekinah, five.

Sarah Mhizha, a family friend from Pretoria, described the Sithole family as God-fearing and humble.

“They went to Zimbabwe on Thursday to visit family and fetch some of their personal documents. On Saturday, they were returning to their home in Ixopo, on the South Coast, when this happened.”

She said the family had left Zimbabwe in 2014 for a better life in South Africa.

Tonderai worked in the forestry industry. Faith was a qualified teacher but had not yet found employment in South Africa.

Mhihza said they were awaiting word on when the funerals could be arranged.

The Singh family declined to comment.

A Newcastle resident, who knew the family but declined to be named, said Suman would have turned 21 on Tuesday.

He said the Singh’s extended family were still waiting for the DNA testing to be completed, so the funerals could be held.

Sharon Hoosen, an MPL, and a DA spokesperson for Transport and Community Safety and Liaison, said: “Campaign after campaign reminds us that speed kills, that we should not text while driving, that people should not drink and drive - yet there are still drivers who disregard these messages.”

Hoosen said, with October being Transport Month in South Africa and with the festive season approaching, it was important that drivers exercised caution by slowing down and obeying the rules of the road.

Police spokesperson, Lieutenant-Colonel Thulani Zwane said a case of culpable homicide was being investigated.


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