A Limpopo family is shaken after four people died when a wall collapsed in front of guests during a lobola ceremony in GaChuene Thokgwaneng on Saturday.
“As the Yika family, we are still in shock what happened Saturday. It was supposed to be a feast day as they paid a bride price for my sister … it was a Lobola negotiation ceremony, “said the family spokesman and brother of the bride, Phinias Yika.
Participants the The ceremony took place in a tent that stood next to an uncovered building in strong winds. The wall collapsed, instantly killing three and injuring several others. One of the injured later died in hospital.
The SAPS spokeswoman Brig Motlafela Mojapelo said police in Lebowakgomo had opened an investigation and identified the deceased as Tiisetso Bushy Macheka, 36, Lesego Ribisi from Hwelereng village, 18, Phinias Maripane Kganyago from Gamashashane and Samson Sambo, who lived in the Lebowakgomo Hospital died.
Yika said the incident happened quickly. It was around 5 p.m. when the wind picked up.
He said the tent was not attached to the wall.
“It was 1.5 or 2 meters from the wall . The wind was so strong and the wall collapsed. It fell on the tent while people were inside. It happened so quickly. After a few minutes there was dust and we couldn’t see what was happening, but we knew there were people in the [tent]. After we had a clear view of what was happening, we saw that people were trapped in it and were trying to remove them, ”he said.
Yika said the bride and her in-laws had already left when the Incident occurred.
“We were ready for the Lobola negotiations early, around noon to 1pm. The in-laws said they wanted to pick up their bride around 5 p.m. The catastrophe began immediately after their departure. They had already left with their bride and most of the people had gone to accompany the bride.
“The few that were left and involved in the incident were the ones that were left behind,” said Yika.
He said the couple were still traumatized by the incident, especially the bride-to-be.
“She can’t even leave the house right now. She can’t even talk to anyone. She’s still in shock, she’s still scared too.
“We’re still in shock, even my wife and everyone in the family are still in shock. We don’t know what to do. We don’t know what to say. We didn’t sleep last night. This thing is still new, we’re still imagining this incident. ”
Yika said it was not uncommon for roads in the area to be damaged and roofs blown away in windy and rainy weather.
MEC Nkakareng for social development in Limpopo Rakgoale expressed their condolences to the families of the victims.
The department spokeswoman, Witness Tiva, said a team of social workers had been deployed to provide psychosocial support to families and others affected.
“Other departments and other government institutions are also involved to address identified needs,” he said.