N6 claims young life

The Rep - - IN OUR POSTBAG -

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.

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