Malabar bus boy tragedy

Lynn Williams

THE reality of having lost a leg has not yet sunk in for Zanoxolo Tyambo, one of the Malabar Primary School pupils injured in Monday’s horrific school bus accident.

Traumatised family members said yesterday they had not yet conveyed the implications of having his leg amputated to the lively and sporty 12-year-old.

Tyambo, who has not had a full night’s rest since being admitted to Livingstone Hospital on Monday, is in severe pain and has not been able to hold down food.

“At the moment, we are lying to him. How do we tell him that he will never be able to play soccer again, or that he won’t be able to enjoy his ballroom dancing?” Zanoxolo’s aunt, Babalwa Mava, said.

“How do you tell a healthy boy, who up until a few days ago had an entirely different lease on life, that his life will have to change completely?”

His grandfather, Cedrick Mavikela, said the whole family was still in a state of shock and disbelief.

“A big part of his life has been snatched away,” he said.

Tyambo’s mother, Ntomben- tsha, had to quit her job in Port Alfred so she could look after her son full-time once he is discharged from hospital.

“I am just so sad. I know my child, he is not taking it well,” she said.

“The worst part is the reality must still sink in. As a family we are all just holding it together for his sake.”

The bus Zanoxolo and his peers were travelling in transports pupils to and from the Motherwell area every day.

He was one of more than 80 pupils who were injured when the bus they were travelling in slid and landed on its side while travelling down Gladiolus Street and into Beetlestone Road. His fellow Grade 7 pupils, Buhlebethu Feni, Lifa Claasen and Nwabisa Tshasi, also sustained serious injuries.

A delegation from the school met with Algoa Bus Company chief executive Sicelo Duze and his senior management team yesterday. The school raised its concerns about the bus being overloaded, the overall safety and roadworthiness of the buses and discussed how accidents could be avoided in future.

They told Duze they were disappointed at the lack of compassion his company showed towards their pupils.

Deputy principal Eugene Serfontein said 60% of their pupils were from the township areas.

The more than 400 pupils who depend on Algoa Bus to get them to and from school are from Motherwell, Seyisi, New Brighton and KwaDwesi.

“We were given the assurance that their buses are roadworthy and are serviced on a regular basis. According to them, if measured by their ratio the bus was not overloaded. There were many things we did not agree with but as the school we are going to further investigate the validity of their claims,” he said.

Many pupils still received counselling yesterday.

Leave a Reply