Church crash claims girl, 9

Mom distraught after tragedy.

The mother of a nine-year-old girl who was killed inside the church yard after a church service is struggling to cope with her death. Khensani Ngubeni was waiting for transport to go home when she and other worshippers were crashed into by a car allegedly driven by an elderly fellow church goer.

The incident happened at one of Mzansi’s biggest charismatic churches in Soweto, the Zoé Bible Church, on Saturday last week.

When Sunday World visited Ngubeni’s home in Pimville this week her mother Duduzile, 30, was too distraught to talk.

Duduzile’s sister Bonisile Mbatha and mother Patricia MaZulu spoke on her behalf, saying the mother was torn by the tragic death of her first-born child.

“Duduzile had to go through some medical consultation because he was not taking the news well,” explained Mbatha. Both described Khensani as a bubbly and curious child who was looking forward to a bright future.

“She was forever bubbly and straightforward. She was intelligent and liked her school work. At some point she told me that she wanted a tutor because she was struggling with maths,” said Mbatha.

She said her niece was doing grade 4 at a local primary school – Emdelwa.

Police spokesperson Nomvula Mbense confirmed that a case of culpable homicide was opened against a 72-year-old driver.

“The police are still investigating the case at this stage. But the docket was taken to Protea Magistrate’s Court to decide on whether to charge the woman [driver] or not. We are still waiting for the decision from the court,” said Mbense.

A statement from the church, led by Bishop Gladstone Botwana, said the accident also left five more people with “serious” injuries.

“At approximately 12H30, the church leadership was alerted to the accident after hearing screams from outside the main
church building.

“When they went to check the cause of the commotion, they saw a number of individuals on the ground including a young child.
“The church’s health team, which includes doctors and nurses, immediately attended to all affected individuals. They controlled bleeding and
did their best to stabilise all of the affected individuals, while the emergency services and the police were called to the scene,” according to a statement from the church.

Khensani was buried on Sunday, a day before her mother’s birthday.

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