A Zambian teacher from Big Bend High School was amongst the six locals who died in a South African kombi last week.
Lenny Zulu, who is reported to have been in the country for two years, is said to have travelled to his home country and was returning when the accident happened about seven kilometres from Oshoek Border Post in South Africa, according to the Swazi Observer Newspaper.
As he was reportedly sitting on the front, seat, he is said to have died on the spot as well as another Swazi woman who occupied a seat behind him.
Four more people are said to have died upon arrival at a Nhlazatshe Hospital in South Africa. Zambian nationals are now in a dilemma regarding how the body would be transported as it costs between E15 000 to E30 000, about K20 Million, to bring it in the country.
Three Zambian nationals travelled two days after the accident to help identify Zulu’s body and he was identified using his passport which was in one of his pockets.
Cheng Luoma, a Zambian, confirmed that he had also travelled to South Africa to indentify the deceaded’ body. “Yes, I can confirm that he is one of the people who died in the accident and a memorial service will be held at Big Bend High school on Tuesday afternoon,” said Luoma, who is a teacher at Siteki Nazarene High School. The deceased teacher is also said to have called whilst in Zambia on his way to South Africa that he was delayed as he was involved in another accident.
“The first accident delayed him for three hours whilst in Zambia,” said a colleague.
Fellow teacher, Sikelela Thwala, who last saw him last Monday, said he was with him in South Africa but Zulu missed the first bus.
“I asked him to get on the bus but for some reason he didn’t want to and boarded the next bus which was later involved in an accident,” said Thwala.
Lubombo Regional Education officer, Sipho Mdluli said he had not yet been informed about the death of the teacher.
…’AZANAS not helpful, only for a select few’
THERE are concerns amongst Zambians that their association is not helpful but only assists a ‘selected few’.
AZANAS is the Association of Zambian Nationals Living in Swaziland, to which Reverend Dickson Mukunda is the chairperson. Some of the Zambians interviewed randomly have indicated that the association only assisted those along the Manzini corridor. They also complained about very high subscription fees before one can be a member. According to information gathered, one has to part with at least E1 000 per year before he could qualify for the benefits.
Part of the money, E750, is said to be for insurance for certain eventualities such as death or any other misfortune. Disgruntled Zambians said people who didn’t have the money should still be allowed to join adding that the issue of insurance should be treated differently.
The misunderstanding at AZANAS has resulted in Zambian nationals forming their own association in the regions, insisting that AZANAS was only concerned about residents of Manzini or Mbabane. “Our challenge at the moment is that the embassy only recognises AZANAS,” said a Zambian in an interview.
The chairman, Reverend Dickson Mukunda could not be reached for comment as he is reported to have travelled to USA.
Driver may have been rushing to reach border
THE driver of the kombi which crashed in South Africa may have been rushing to reach the Oshoek border, which closes at 10pm.
Some of the relatives and friends who had travelled to South Africa are of the view that the driver was travelling at ‘high speed’ to reach the border before time.
The accident happened after the driver avoided what looked like a horse then moved to the emergency lane crossing a yellow line.
He is then said to have tried to move back to the main lane quickly but that a trailer he was pulling overturned, causing the kombi to lose control.
The kombi is then said to have hit a telephone pole and overturned, killing two of the passengers on the spot. “The other passengers died upon arrival at the hospital,” said a family member.
Assistant Superintendent Steven Dlamini, the deputy Police public relations officer, said he could not confirm as to whether the driver was speeding as the accident happened in another country.
He, however, said the only information the local police had was the list of people who died in the accident.