Mom waited in vain for devoted son’s call

Family and friends gathered for a memorial service for five men who died in a car crash in Amalinda on Saturday.
Family and friends gathered for a memorial service for five men who died in a car crash in Amalinda on Saturday.
Image: Sino Majangaza

A grieving East London mother who looked forward to phone calls every Saturday with her son said she waited with bated breath at the weekend – but the only call she received was that her son had been killed in a car accident.

Nombulelo Tyabula’s only child, Thando Tyabula, 31, was one of five people whose lives were celebrated at a joint memorial service in Sunnyside Park in Amalinda.

Ayabulela Mazwi, 33, Odwa Williams, 33, and Tyabula died on the scene.

Masixole Mshweshwe, 32 and Ludwe Ntsukula, 25, died in hospital. Sivuyile Hokwana had minor injuries.

The memorial service was held in a tent at the corner of Dorothy Road and Clark Street in Sunnyside Park in Amalinda on Wednesday.

The crash happened in the early hours on Saturday when the Volkswagen Golf they were travelling in collided with a bakkie on the Amalinda Main Road near the SPCA.

Police spokesperson Captain Mluleki Mbi said after the crash, the driver of the bakkie allegedly removed his car registration plates and disc before fleeing the scene.

“Police traced the car and he was arrested in Mdantsane,” he said.

Some mourners said they were still struggling to come to terms with the deaths.

Others said they had accepted what had happened.

Nombulelo said she was devastated. She described her only child as kind and quiet.

“We were not staying together, he would call any day of the week, but he would make sure that he called me on Saturdays,” she said.

Nombulelo said, as usual, she waited patiently for her son’s call, but the only call she received was that her “lovely” son had died on Saturday.

“For a moment, I went blank. I froze.

“It was the saddest news I have ever heard in my entire life. I feel empty,” she said.

Mshweshwe’s mother Nonceba Mshweshwe did not want to talk to the Dispatch, but his uncle, Patrick Mshweshwe, said the family had accepted that Masixole was gone.

“We are at peace. We have learnt to accept what has happened,” he said.

Ntsukula’s uncle, Xolani Malothana, said his family was still in shock. “It is like I am dreaming and I am still going to wake up,” he said.

Williams’ cousin, Thando Montwana, said they were devastated. “We are still trying to accept and make peace with what has happened,” he said.

Mazwi’s father, Solomzi Mazwi, said losing his only son was a great loss. “But there is nothing I can do, we only have to accept,” he said.

Mbi said the suspect faces charges of culpable homicide and of fleeing an accident scene. He is out on R500 bail.

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