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Families finally have chance to bury their loved ones


Mojabeng Moalosi

The families of Basotho who burned to death during an accident that happened last month on March 2, on the R26 road between Fouriesburg and Bethlehem, will finally have chance to bury their loved ones as DNA results have been completed.

The 11 deceased arrived in the country last Friday and were welcomed by Basotho men and women to pay their last honour and respect, and to support the grieving families at Sethaleng-sa-Mopapa.

The sobs of family members invited tears to the numerous in attendances and set the ambience to a sorrowful afternoon.

The stint smell in the atmosphere is that of rotten corpse needing to go straight to the grave.

The bodies had been in the hands of South African pathologists for the past five weeks since the accident happened on March 2.

The delay was to help identify the bodies and trace their families, a processes which was completed on April 5.

The welcome was a dignified one, with three tents erected; one for the family, government and the public while the smaller two marquee tents provided shelter for the 11 deceased.

The Special Operations Unit (SOU) police brass band belted different hymns which set a gloomy mood.

‘Malephallo Abele, the sole survivor in the burned quantum failed to hold her pain when she saw her colleagues arriving, carried in 6 hearses.

The reality that she could have been one of the dead was visibly in the distressed sound of her cry.

The 11 arrived accompanied by some of their family members who effortlessly joined the sobbing.

The SOU brass band did not relent, they continued their performance allowing for the corpses to be displayed in the tents prepared for them.

They were all put in the same coffins donated by the government under the Lesotho Funeral Service deal.

The Christian Council of Lesotho opened the short service with a prayer paving way for a Lekhooa Rabotho, families’ representative.

He passed his special appreciations to the government of Lesotho for support, love and supervision.

“We thank the government for offering a shoulder to cry on. The government has been with us from the first day of the accident until today. In time of the tragedy we did not know where to start,” he said.

He added, “The government of Lesotho, please pass our genuine gratitude to the Government of South Africa for also playing a vital role in assisting all families to identify our loved ones.”

“The government of Lesotho approached that of South African to offer expects to help identify who is who and they didn’t relent. Member of South African police worked tirelessly to sure that today we are able to be afforded an opportunity to know and have identified our loved ones. We truly thank the government of Lesotho which stood by our side to this end. But mostly we thank God for He is greater and does not do what is beyond him. We are pained but we cannot undo this,” Rabotho said consoling all families.   

Minister of Communications Science and Technology, Thesele Maseribane on behalf of the government passed his condolences to the families saying that the government of Lesotho will never forget that day any time soon.

He stressed that the tragedy has affected all Basotho Nations.

“The Prime minister formed the committee task team which worked so well with the grieving families. It worked cooperatively with taxi operators, the mortuaries owners and the government of South Africa.

“The committee will also offer money to the families which had already buried their loved ones.

“The government will offer financial support to all families of the deceased. Those whose loved ones died in hospitals will be afforded counselling. The government through the department of Social Development will offer financial support to the orphans,” the minister disclosed.

“We give special credits to the government of South Africa for showing so much support. We haven’t got even a single invoice for forensics performed. We also thank you all that have gathered here. I pass my sincere condolences to all the grieving families, the government and all the Basotho Nations,” Maseribane concluded.   

In interview with Newsday, the brother to the Quantum driver, Keketso Taole stated that 11 deceased will get buried since they were the ones left behind awaiting DNA results.

The government of Lesotho took all the responsibility of bringing the deceased home from South African on Friday April 12 2019.

“On Friday 12 April the government’s responsibility was of bringing the deceased home to the mortuaries. Then the families will pay for the mortuaries expenses. Every family of the deceased will make decision of when to bury their loved ones.

“The government has offered to give each family M3000 for a coffin and M3000 for grocery,” Taole said.

 On Wednesday morning, March 20, the hundreds organised a memorial service for 12 people who died in accident while others died in hospitals.

In South Africa on March 2, 2019 there was a tragedy death of Basotho nationals who were on their way to Gauteng for shopping, and 1 South African BMW that caused the accident.

Basotho people that died in the accident which occurred between Bethlehem and Fouriesburg were 12. One from a super custom taxi which narrowly escaped a head-on collision while 11 passengers from a quantum burned immediately.

Of the 11 people who were burned were unrecognised, 4 of which died in hospital while the rest died on the spot. May their souls rest in peace! 

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