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3 pupils killed in deadly Newland East crash remembered

Last week, Thina Ngiba, Ayanda Mtshali and Luyanda Ngubane were declared dead on the scene while a fourth pupil is still recovering in hospital.

FILE: Angry Newlands east residents blocked the Dumisani Makhaye highway on 6 March 2019 in KwaMashu following a deadly taxi accident that claimed the lives of three teenagers. Picture: Ziyanda Ngcobo/EWN.

NEWLANDS EAST - A memorial service has been held for three schoolgirls who were run down by a taxi after the driver allegedly skipped a red traffic light in Newlands East, KwaZulu-Natal.

Last week, Thina Ngiba, Ayanda Mtshali and Luyanda Ngubane were declared dead on the scene while a fourth pupil is still recovering in hospital.

Taxi driver Sboniso Zwane, 33, fled the accident scene but was later arrested by police on the same day.

Zwane appeared in the Ntuzuma Magistrates Court on Wednesday morning and was granted R3,000 bail.

The sombre mood was punctuated by moments of celebration in the tent filled with hundreds of pupils, officials and members of the clergy at Newlands East Secondary School.

Ngiba, Mtshali and Ngubane, who were aged between 12 and 15, have been remembered as pupils who were diligent, bubbly and committed to excelling in all that they did.

School principal Paul Ndlovu has asked the officials present on Wednesday to place traffic cops on the busy Dumisani Makhaye Highway in the morning to ensure the safety of pupils.

“There are too many accidents that have claimed the lives of school pupils on these roads, and they involve taxis which transport the community in this area. The question is what are we, as the community, going to do about this?”

Most have spoken about the way taxi drivers from a particular association carry themselves, insisting more needs to be done to discipline those involved.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)