A family representative, Mabuse Makwe, who lost a cousin in the crash said the tragedy had shattered the families.
“What is painful is all those people who were on their way to work have left us. It's better when you see someone being sick. Imagine you slept next to someone, someone bidding their farewell to you, their children goodbye in the morning, some accompanied their mother to the bus but after a few hours you hear a call coming in,” he said.
Some of the family members cried out as the family representatives related how unexpected and sudden the loss was.
Makwe said he received a call about the accident at about 7am.
“I saw everything that happened on the scene. I spent the whole day there,” he said.
Peggy Bokaba, who lost her niece in the accident, described the massive loss the family had suffered.
“I raised her. It is very painful because she was the breadwinner at home. Her sister had died and left her with her two children,” she said.
Bokaba said they were alerted about the accident by friends.
“Her (cousin) went and bought the airtime to call her. Her phone rang from 8am and at around 10am it was off and wasn't ringing any more.”
The cousin went to check the scene but they were not allowed to view the bodies and had to follow the emergency cars to the mortuary.
“They started by calling names at the mortuary. [My niece] was number two. They called her name and I raised my hand. That was the start of crying and the pain. They even wrote her body number — 589. We had to verify if it was her and we did,” said Bokaba.
Mpho Malatse, whose mother, Constance Malatse was a victim, said he found out about the accident through the media.
Malatse tried to call his mother but her phone was not answered.
“Afterwards, my sibling called me and we met at the scene where it was confirmed that it was her bus. We checked the hospitals first and she was not there then we had to wait for the pathologist to load the bodies. We followed them to Zone 5 (Garankuwa) and had to identify her,” he said.
She will be laid to rest on Thursday.
“It was difficult, it was not easy. We went there but had hoped that we won't find her there (at the scene). We were only left with the mortuary. It was heartbreaking. The mind shuts down,” Malatse said.
His mother was working as a cleaner in Centurion and was supporting his youngest sibling financially.