N6 claims young life
SABELO Jayiya of Queenstown writes: We have become accustomed to turning our blessings into curses. The N6 road as we enter Komani is beautiful and is supposed to make us proud. It is something to boast about to the visitors and those who pass through our town.
This beauty has been turned into a curse by callous and reckless drivers, who drive as though they are participating in a grand prix. They neither care for other drivers nor the pedestrians. They rejoice at seeing pedestrians running for dear lives when crossing the road.
On May 22 at about 2.30pm, Mpho Bali, who was barely seven years old, was hit by a car in front of my eyes while crossing the road to the mall adjacent to the N6. This was a scene I pray nobody ever sees. I could not sleep for days, as the terrible scene kept playing in my mind. The sight of his siblings crying helplessly, as they saw their brother lying motionlessly in the road, kept sending a stream of tears down my cheeks. A young life lost, a future destroyed.
As we tried to calm the siblings, giving them hope that the paramedics would do their best to help their brother, an old man came shouting, “Hayi, ufile” (No, he is dead). Such callousness, such insensitivity! This is the same spot that, in November 2011, cost the life of Hlomla Madonono who was born in 1999. Coincidentally, both boys, who died at the same spot, were residents of Komani Park and were originally from Mtebhele village at Machibini.
For how long shall we take these incidents as “one of those things”? For how long shall we keep quiet and take these incidents as mere statistics? The municipality, working with Sanral, needs to ensure as a matter of urgency, that:
Cameras are installed to monitor speed and prosecute offenders;
traffic lights or traffic circles are erected at the Laurie Dashwood and Sandringham junctions;
Speed humps are erected between the two traffic circles and the existing traffic lights.
To those who continue to blame the victim, “Bafuna ntoni na bona aba bantwana ezindleleni”? Our children have a right to move around this town. Some do not have the luxury of being ferried in cars to the shops and have the right to buy wherever they prefer. No callousness and recklessness must confine people’s movements. I trust and pray that no more shall we hear of such deaths. Let us all value life, embrace blessings and not turn them into curses.