Friday, 27 August 2010

Condolences following the Blackheath Train / Taxi Collision

This statement was issued on 26 August 2010

I want to express my shock and deep sadness at the tragic taxi/train accident yesterday in Blackheath, which resulted in the deaths of 9 children and injuries to five other children and the taxi driver.

On behalf of the entire Anglican Church of Southern Africa I offer assurance of our prayers and sincere condolences to the families of those children who died as well as to their fellow students at Good Hope and Kalksteenfontein Primary Schools, and Bellville, Kasselsvlei, and Kuilsriver Technical Schools. We are praying for the repose of the souls of those who died and also praying that God will give peace and hope, comfort and strength, to their families and all who mourn their deaths, as well as to all those caught up in this terrible tragedy.

Early reports have indicated that the driver of the taxi ignored the warning lights and the operation of crossing booms, designed to avoid such tragedies. I join others in calling for a thorough investigation of this accident, and if the driver of the taxi is found negligent, that he be subject to the strongest sentence possible.

The rules of the road are in place to ensure the safety of us all and it is imperative that we uphold them for every road user. Our experience of the World Cup showed that we can improve our public transportation system, especially for those who commute daily. Better transportation, including for learners, has the potential to help bridge the gaps of race and class which still exists.

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Thanks for your feedback! Archbishop Thabo