More mis­ery for mourn­ers

Zululand Observer - Monday - - FRONT PAGE - Tam­lyn Jolly

THE trauma suf­fered by fam­ily mem­bers of Siyabonga Ga­bela, one of the three KZN Sharks Board crew to trag­i­cally drown when their boat cap­sized, was com­pounded on Thurs­day af­ter a no-show by of­fi­cials at a planned memo­rial ser­vice. Ac­cord­ing to Siyabonga’s sib­lings, Muzi and Lungi Ga­bela, Sharks Board CEO Mthokozisi Radebe on Wed­nes­day evening con­firmed that the memo­rial, ar­ranged by the Sharks Board for Thurs­day morn­ing, would go ahead at the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s build­ing in Richards Bay. But on Thurs­day morn­ing when the fam­ily ar­rived, the venue was locked and no one was there. ‘We were con­fused; we ar­rived in time for the 11am memo­rial for which some of us had driven from as far as Jo­han­nes­burg and Port Shep­stone - only to find the place va­cant,’ said Lungi. ‘We had not even asked for this memo­rial ser­vice as we were hav­ing a fu­neral for Siyabonga at home in Mel­moth, so when no one apart from us turned up, we felt we had wasted our time driv­ing all this way.’ Echo­ing Lungi’s sen­ti­ments, her brother Muzi said the or­deal was ex­tremely up­set­ting given the trauma al­ready ex­pe­ri­enced by the fam­ily. ‘Los­ing our brother in the way we did was trau­matic in it­self and we are find­ing it dif­fi­cult deal­ing with it, so to then ex­pe­ri­ence this, has added to the grief we are al­ready bat­tling with,’ he said. With 30-odd fam­ily mem­bers who had trav­elled, and not know­ing where to turn, Lungi con­tacted the Zu­l­u­land Ob­server whose ed­i­tor, Dave Sa­vides, saved the day.

Fam­ily of Sharks Board drown vic­tim left in the lurch

Af­ter a few tele­phone calls, he had ar­ranged for Pas­tor Robert Mbuyazi to con­duct a ser­vice at 1pm at the NG Kerk in Meerensee, where Ds Ru­pert de Kon­ing re­sponded with­out hes­i­ta­tion to a re­quest for use of the venue. ‘We are so very grate­ful to Dave for ar­rang­ing this,’ said Lungi. ‘With­out him, this day would have been wasted when we had so many fu­neral ar­range­ments to pre­pare for Satur­day.’ The fam­ily held a vigil for Siyabonga on Fri­day night and the of­fi­cial fam­ily fu­neral at their Mel­moth homestead on Satur­day. Sharks Board staff in Dur­ban con­firmed that, al­though a memo­rial ser­vice had been ar­ranged by the or­gan­i­sa­tion, the fam­ily had been con­tacted at 6am on Thurs­day and were in­formed that the ser­vice had been post­poned. How­ever, Muzi, who was the nom­i­nated of­fi­cial fam­ily con­tact, said he had re­ceived no such call - and in any event, the can­cel­la­tion came long af­ter mourn­ers were al­ready on the road fol­low­ing Radebe’s con­fir­ma­tion on Wed­nes­day evening. • Af­ter 10 days of be­ing miss­ing at sea, Siyabonga’s body was re­cov­ered last Satur­day evening af­ter be­ing seen in the har­bour en­trance by a lo­cal fish­er­man. This al­lowed the fam­ily a mea­sure of clo­sure in be­ing able to hold their burial ser­vice.

Tam­lyn Jolly

Muzi and Lungi Ga­bela are mourn­ing the loss of their brother, Siyabonga, who drowned dur­ing the cap­siz­ing of the KZN Sharks Board boat ear­lier this month

Tam­lyn Jolly

Fam­ily of the late Siyabonga Ga­bela gath­ered for the memo­rial in Richards Bay

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.