The mother of a 6-year-old boy sobbed beside her only child’s body after he died when the bus he was trying to board ran him over in Anett Drive, Reservoir Hills.
Swelihle Mbambo, who was on his way to Pemary Ridge Primary School in Reservoir Hills on Wednesday, died instantly.
The boy’s family arrived at the scene but were too traumatised to speak.
A resident said she was standing outside her yard at the time of the incident.
“I was waiting for my children to leave for school and saw the bus coming down the road. I realised that the bus was not slowing down to stop and told my children to wait until it had passed,” the woman said.
She said there were three children waiting to board the bus, including Swelihle.
While the bus driver allegedly slowed down, he did not stop the bus, and the children chased after it to board.
The other two boys managed to board the moving bus. Swelihle was about to jump on when he tripped and was run over by the bus.
“I rushed to the little boy’s aid and tried to start CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation), but saw and felt the extent of his injuries all over his little body,” the resident said.
Garrith Jamieson, Rescue Care spokesperson, said when emergency teams arrived at the scene, they found Swelihle lying on the ground.
“Upon clinical assessment of the child, it was discovered that he had sustained multiple critical injuries and had passed away before the paramedics’ arrival,” he said.
Captain Myen Lazarus, Sydenham police spokesperson, said police were investigating a case of culpable homicide.
The bus driver was not arrested and was taken away by the bus owner.
Locals said there had been many incidents on that stretch of road.
The witness said she had often seen buses speed down the narrow road.
“A few years ago, a resident was almost wiped out as he was reversing out of his property. There was also another incident where a young motorist was making a U-turn on the road and a bus came speeding down,” the woman said.
Nikhiel Kalaparsad, the owner of the bus company, refuted the residents’ claims. He said a broken manhole at the side of the road was to blame as Swelihle had tripped over the concrete piece jutting out on to the road.
“I really would not like to comment further on the accident because it was not something nice that happened. I would, however, like to send my heartfelt condolences to the family,” he said.
Pravin Gounder, Reservoir Hills Community Policing Forum chairperson, said there had been a spate of complaints about the reckless driving of buses on Anett Drive.
“The road is quite narrow and we have had a number of issues with speeding buses and taxis,” said Gounder.
He said they had requested speed calming measures be placed on Anett Drive, which carries a high volume of traffic.
“We know that sometimes children do run on to the road but these buses need to slow down.
“We will meet the young boy’s family and the bus owner to address the issues. Once we have spoken to the bus owner, it is up to him to speak to his drivers and get them to adhere to the rules,” said Gounder.
He said it would be ideal if speed bumps were placed on the road.