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MBABANE –Talk about a double blow!

While still trying to come to terms with the sad loss of their son, a Sifundza family of Nkambeni area is now faced with yet another painful scenario, as the school which he attended, Madlenya Primary School, is now allegedly demanding part of the money that the family will receive from the Sincephetelo Motor Vehicle Accident Fund (SMVAF) as compensation for funeral costs. This is despite the fact that when the child met his death, he was from a sports event organised by the school and was on board a truck that was also organised by it. The school authorities are alleged to have collected personal documents including a birth certificate of the pupil, saying they wanted to use them for purposes of getting the SMVAF money so they could pay some debts that were incurred during the funeral preparations. The exact amount that the school is allegedly demanding is E10 000, which the family feels is ridiculous.

Interestingly, the policy of the SMVAF stipulates that people who have lost relatives to a road traffic accident within the country, have the right to claim compensation for funeral costs. For families to make claims, proof of expenditure has to be produced and this could be in the form of receipts of expenditure, for instance, at a morgue, or an invoice for a purchased coffin. However, the fund can only reimburse expenses up to a maximum figure of E10 000, which is the same figure that the school authorities are allegedly demanding. The 14-year-old boy lost his life tragically on March 7, 2018, when the mini-truck accident occurred along Mabiya/Madzanga Road in the Lubombo region. When the accident occurred, the boy and 24 other pupils were travelling home from school when the truck developed mechanical problems that resulted in it overturning. He was seriously injured and had to be rushed to the nearest health centre where he died, while the others were discharged.


His burial took place on March 17 and this past weekend, his family conducted the cleansing ceremony. The boy’s uncle, Timothy Sifundza, was at pains as he described what he termed inhuman treatment from the school. Sifundza said he was shocked when he was informed by the head teacher of the school, Nkosinathi Mkhonta, that the school needed a share of the money that was going to come from the SMVAF. “This really surprised me because when our child died, he was from a sports event organised by the school. Ufe etandleni tesikolwa, nalesikolwa ngiso lesabhuka leloli kutsi itfwale bantfwana,” Sifundza said in vernacular. According to Sifundza, when he enquired why the school needed part of the money, he was allegedly told that the school needed to cover costs it incurred while preparing for the funeral. This, Sifundza said, shocked him as most of the items that were used for the burial were donated by community members and not the school.

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