Sobering lesson at students’ memorial service
THE memorial service for the six Durban students who died in a horrific car crash was used as a platform to send a sobering message to students against reckless behaviour that was detrimental to themselves and their future.
Athi Ndzause, 17, Zanele Thabethe, 20, from Nquthu, and Bongeka Silinga, students from Berea Technical College; Elethu Diko, 18, and Zimkitha Faltein, 18, from CTI College, Mzwandile Zitha, 30, from Vryheid, who worked at Telkom and was also a student at Durban University of Technology, all died after a vehicle they were travelling in crashed into a tree on the corner of Clark and Lena Ahrens (Manning) roads in Glenwood in the early hours of Saturday.
The driver, Mzuphilile Gadu, 24, a student at DUT who was the sole survivor of the crash, is still in hospital.
The memorial service was also attended by students, who came to pay their last respects to their friends. The service was filled with both song and tears as mourners said their goodbyes.
“The most painful thing is that it is the uneducated people who send you to study. I don’t understand what stops you from fighting for exactly that. Just think, raising a child – only for that child to perish. May their souls rest in peace,” said Mandla Ngwenya, speaking to students on behalf of the KwaZulu-Natal families.
Pastor Vusi Dube lashed out at student representative councils, saying that instead of fighting for morality among students, they spent money on parties.
“I live for the day when a fresher’s bash doesn’t involve alcohol and sex. Your parents don’t send you to Durban so you can supply your body (to men). It’s unfortunate that we bury young people. We may sound like we are criticising you, but we are your parents and we love you,” said Dube.
Lizzie Shabalala, of the KZN Transport portfolio committee, lashed out at affluent men who she said used their status and money to entice girls on campus.
“I always see the luxury cars parked here (DUT) to pick up young women. This isn’t what we struggled for. Poverty has no dignity, that’s why when a man driving a flashy car waves at a girl, she also waves back. Just because someone has money doesn’t mean the nation should die.
“My children, I hope you develop a conscience which will keep you firmly grounded and remind you about your families who struggled to get you this far when the voices of excitement try to lead you astray,” she said.
She said parents of the crash victims had not only lost their children, but also their hopes and dreams.
Ndzause’s mother, Nokuthula, said her daughter had also been her friend. “I will miss talking to her,” she said.