Devasted parents identify bodies of pupils killed in Cape Town

They last saw them when they left for school on Tuesday morning and on Wednesday morning devastated parents of five pupils killed in an accident in Mitchells Plain, Cape Town had to identify their children’s bodies at the morgue.

This is how Western Cape health MEC Dr French Mbombo described the bewildered state of parents and guardians of the pupils who were killed in yesterday’s accident when the bakkie they were travelling with to school crashed into a traffic light. It is reported that the bakkie rolled several times before crashing.

Five children between the ages of six to 11 from Khayelitsha, who were being transported to different primary schools in Mitchells Plain, died at the scene of the accident. Two children, aged six and 15, were taken to hospital with the teenager in a critical condition.

According to Western Cape Health spokesperson Luke Albert the six-year-old pupil was treated and discharged yesterday and the teen boy from Lentegeur high school underwent an operation at Groote Schuur hospital.

“He has been transferred to the intensive care unit and his condition is being monitored,” said Albert.

The 55-year-old driver of the bakkie is facing a charge of culpable homicide and will appear in the Mitchells Plain Magistrates court on Thursday.

Mbombo wrote on her Twitter account today: “This morning, I accompanied the family of the five children who lost their lives during the accident in Mitchells Plain yesterday.

“It was here in Observatory Forensic Pathology Institute where they had to identify the bodies of their children and also was the first time they had seen them since saying goodbye to them yesterday morning.

“As parent I can’t even begin to imagine the pain these families are going through,” she said.

Mbombo said the autopsies will be completed by Thursday morning so that families who would like to conduct burials over the weekend are able to do so.

Western Cape police spokesperson Sergeant Wesley Wigg refused to be drawn into the details of what led to the accident. “The circumstances surrounding the incident are part of a police investigation,” he said.

He confirmed that the suspect is facing a culpable homicide charge and will appear in the Mitchells Plain magistrates court.

Western Cape Education MEC David Maynier said the deceased pupils were from Wespoort, Harvester, Ridgeville, Highlands and Duneside primary schools.

Transport MEC Ricardo Mackenzie said information suggests that the bakkie in which the pupils were being transported hit a traffic light, resulting in the children being thrown off the back of the bakkie.

Follow @SundayWorldZA on Twitter and @sundayworldza on Instagram, or like our Facebook Page, Sunday World, by clicking here for the latest breaking news in South Africa. 

Latest News