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27 August 2011

Knysna bus tragedy: How you can help

KNYSNA NEWS - Group Editors would like to thank everybody who contributed, and still contributes to the relief fund it set up following the tragic bus accident on Wednesday, August 24. The fund currently stands at R26500.

The company would also like to assure all that 100% of the funds raised for the Rheenendal Bus Tragedy Support Fund, will benefit the bereaved community, and all decisions regarding the fund will be completely transparent.

Funeral arrangements for the 15 victims of the crash have not yet been finalised, as bereaved families are still deciding whether to have a mass burial service in Rheenendal or several smaller funerals. Part of the deciding factor is the fact that ten of the late children lived in the Rheenendal area, while two lived in Hornlee and two in the George area. The affected families have until Monday, August 29 to indicate their wishes in this regard. Should there be a mass funeral, this will take place on Sunday, September 4 in Rheenendal.

Following a meeting this morning, August 26, in consultation with leadership and family representatives, it has been established that the Eden District Municipality and the Knysna Municipality will cover extensive costs for such a funeral, while a local funeral home indicated that it would supply the necessary coffins. Hearses have also been arranged.
In case of a mass funeral, the following items still need to be arranged: A marquee tent and chairs to accommodate approximately 2 000 mourners. plants, a stage and podium, a funeral programme and toilet facilities.

Another meeting will be held with representatives to ascertain the specific needs of the bereaved families.
Those wishing to contribute financially to efforts to lighten the families' burdens, can do so by making deposits into the following account: Rheenendal Bus Tragedy Support Fund, First National Bank, George branch number 210114 and account number 62324295676.

Those who cannot or prefer not to make a financial contribution can also donate stationery, school uniforms, school bags and other school supplies (all the survivors lost their school bags and content). Such donations, as well as donations of non-perishable foods can be dropped off at the Knysna-Plett Herald offices in Spring Street, Knysna or at the mayoral offices.

Items can also be dropped off at the Group Editors' other branches:

George Herald at 9 Ring Road or 72 York Street, George
Mossel Bay Advertiser at 9 Church Street, Mossel Bay
Oudtshoorn Courant at Seppie Greeff Building, Voortrekker Road, Oudtshoorn
South Cape Forum at 9 Heidelberg Road, Riversdale

People can also donate some of their time to help alleviate the plight of this hard-hit community. For information regarding this, contact Nikki Tait at the Knysna-Plett Herald on 044 382 1185 during office hours.

- George Herald