THE family of the late Samkelisiwe Masilela from Sikhwahlane 4, Mpumalanga, said they have lost a pillar of society.
The 30-year-old died in a multiple car crash on Friday between Mbombela and Matsulu, which killed 15 people.
Speaking to the SunTeam, her uncle, Mfaneki Mkhabela, said her death affected everyone in the family.
“This happened while she was on her way to see her mum and as always, we were all looking forward to seeing her.
“Initially, she was supposed to return home on Saturday, but decided to take a taxi on Friday, not knowing she would meet her death.
“She was responsible and helped anyone in the family, including her nephews and nieces. Life will be difficult without her, and her only child, aged six, will grow up as an orphan,” said Mfaneki.
Another family from Madadeni that lost their loved one, Tumelo Mbandzene, said they were struggling to come to terms with the loss.
The 28-year-old nurse was travelling from Pretoria to Mpumalanga after she went to submit some documents to the nursing council.
Her husband, Thulani Mlambo, said he was surprised her phone was off when he tried to check how far away she was.
“We only heard the next day when the police called to inform us my wife was involved in a car accident,” said Thulani.
Spokesman for the Department of Community Safety, Joseph Mabuza, said a minibus collided head-on with a truck.
“A sedan then went on to collide with another truck. Fourteen occupants in the minibus died at the scene,” said Mabuza.
Community Safety MEC Pat Ngomane pleaded with motorists to be considerate on the roads to further loss of lives.
Police have opened a culpable homicide docket.