SELEBI-PHIKWE: The tragic July 9, 2011 night remains indelible in the minds of Kagelelo Tidige’s family.
It is the day he terribly lost his wife and their three-months-old twin girl when a car veered off the road and rammed into their bedroom as they slept.
Mercifully, 35-year-old Tidige’s other twin baby survived unhurt in the accident.His older son and daughter however, sustained serious injuries and had to be airlifted to Princess Marina Hospital.
The accident, which happened in the BCL residential area in Leseding, shocked the whole of Selebi-Phikwe town and the nation at large.
“I was doing the afternoon shift that day. I knocked off at 10pm whereupon my colleagues dropped me off at home.
“I found my family already asleep, which was just unusual. As I sat eating my supper and watching television in the sitting room, I heard I loud bang followed by screams outside.
“Someone was shouting that car has ploughed into the house.
He immediately rushed into the bedroom where he found a sedan covered in debris on top of his family.
“I called my wife’s name but she could not respond. The only sound that emanated from the rubble was my son’s screams. The car missed him by inches,” he said.
The BCL mine’s Wellness Department played an important role by providing counselling to him, though the shock and trauma was so profound, at times counselling could just not soak in.
After the tragedy, he was temporarily given a lighter duty to perform at work.
He however soon returned to his normal duty, as interacting more with colleagues was therapeutic. Apparently, the more he stayed alone, the more events of the day replayed themselves in his mind. “Socialising more was the best remedy for me. Life after losing my wife was just tough as I could not cope and it was difficult for me to raise children on my own.
“Hence I stayed with my mother for three years as I tried to come to terms with the whole ordeal and adjusting to the new lifestyle,” he added.
The incident was followed by a court case where the perpetrator who was the victim’s fellow BCL employee had to face the law.
The accused sought legal representation while Tidige was represented by the state.
“The first day I stepped inside the magistrate court was when I was called to give evidence. I was informed thereafter that I would be notified of the date of judgment.
“To this day, I am still waiting. I do not know if the case has been concluded or what. I never heard anything from the police since then.
“I have given up. It was my first time to be involved in court matters and I do not know how it operates,” he added.
He said despite the pain and void the perpetrator brought upon his family, Tidige said he does not hold a grudge against him.
After the fatal accident, Tidige’s family was relocated to a new house still in Leseding ward in the neighbourhood of the motorist who whose car snuffed the lives of his beloved wife and their baby.
“I do not hold any grudge against him but he seemed to have a problem because when passing by my house he tries to avoid me.
“However it happened that we bumped on each other somewhere and I extended a handshake. Even this week we met, he saw me first and greeted me,” he said.
Since the accident, Tidige has never separated from his children and is still staying with them.
He said the children have moved on and never ask about their mother. They even do not show signs of post -traumatic disorder. The elder daughter is the one who used to ask about her mom after being discharged from the hospital.
“Everything was explained to her by an elderly person and she never asked again,” said Tidige.
Life goes on as usual in the Tidige household. Nowadays. He has found a fiancée and the two have already brought a new addition to Tidige’s children.
He said they are happy and the wife to be is taking good care of all his children.