Father’s heartache as Michaelhouse remembers bus crash victim Themba Dloti’s memorial

Themba Dloti’s father Thabo and his older brother Thabang deliver eulogies at a memorial service held at Michaelhouse on Friday.

The Michaelhouse chapel was filled with mourners. PICTURES: THULI DLAMINI

Thabo Dloti trembled at the podium as he delivered a tearful eulogy to his son, Themba, on Friday afternoon.

“I know that with his untimely departure, if Themba could have planned it, he would have planned to depart this life surrounded by his friends and those he loved,” he said.

The Michaelhouse Grade 10 pupil died tragically on Tuesday when the bus that 46 soccer-playing boys and four staff members from the Balgowan-based private school were travelling in allegedly had a tyre blow-out and flipped onto its side on Town Hill‚ outside Pietermaritzburg. He was declared dead at the side of the road after being pulled from the wreckage.

On Friday, hundreds filled the Michaelhouse chapel for a memorial service. Mourners crowded the doors, with the small red brick building unable to house all those who came to pay their respects.

Michaelhouse pupils stunned by horrific bus crash which killed one boy‚ injured 47

“We will miss him, but everything he did will live with us forever,” Dloti said. “I used to call him Big T…and it is very hard for me to speak about him. We were blessed with 16 years with him and his star will continue to shine in our hearts.”

“We will miss him, but everything he did will live with us forever,” Dloti said. “I used to call him Big T…and it is very hard for me to speak about him. We were blessed with 16 years with him and his star will continue to shine in our hearts.”

Dloti described his teenage son as “a dear boy, and a great brother”.

Themba’s elder brother, Thabang, in a fleeting tribute, said that that he had been torn apart by his sibling’s death.

“I feel like I have lost half of myself because of this,” she said.

13 Michaelhouse pupils and a teacher had surgery after bus crash

The Michaelhouse choir, of which Themba had played an active part, sang a special rendition of amazing grace in rememberence. An elderly woman, overcome by grief, had to be helped from the pews by other mourners.

What caused the crash that claimed the life of Dloti remains under investigation. A teacher and 13 children underwent surgery following the accident‚ while a number of other children were treated for various abrasions.

JEFF WICKS – TMG DIGITAL

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