News / South Africa

Virginia Keppler
2 minute read
9 Oct 2017
6:44 am

Pretoria parents lose both children within two days

Virginia Keppler

She and her husband, Derick, buried their babies, Princess and Prince Khambule, on Saturday morning.

Derick and Veronica Khambule sit with Derick's brother alongside their children's coffins in the Khambule family home in Eersterust on 7 October 2017. Princess was severely injured when a drunken driver crashed into their family's shack a month ago, and passed after some time in a coma. Her infant brother did not survive an hour longer than his birth, a day after their mother received word of Princess' passing. Picture: Yeshiel Panchia

A Pretoria mother who lost both her children in the space of two days cried out to God at their funeral, asking him why he had taken both her children at once.

“God, why did you have to take both my children? “I know you are God and I know you are a good God and you are my God, but why did you have to take my children, my happiness? “What have I done so wrong that you had to take all my children?” an inconsolable Veronica Khambule cried out during the home funeral service.

She and her husband, Derick, buried their babies, Princess and Prince Khambule, on Saturday morning.

Derick Khambule cried quietly as he kept his eyes on his children’s little white coffins standing next to each other in Veronica’s sister’s house.

On each coffin was a burning candle with two little blankets in a black plastic bag next to the coffins on the floor.

The blankets were later draped over the coffins before they were lowered into the grave that the siblings, who never even met each other, are now sharing.

There was not a dry eye on Saturday morning as mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters of the community of Nantes in Eersterust cried together.

Ten-month-old Princess died last Monday in Steve Biko Hospital and her little brother, Prince, died the following morning, less than an hour after he was born in Mamelodi Hospital, east of Pretoria.

Prince was born with a broken leg and his heart was on the opposite side of his chest.

Derick Khambule had to register the birth of his son and the deaths of both his children on the same day.

Princess suffered serious head injuries when a bakkie driven by an allegedly drunk man ploughed through her parents’ shack and landed on the bed where she was sleeping between them in July.

Derick managed to keep Princess alive by continually resuscitating her all the way to the hospital.

She had undergone five operations since the incident, but subsequently died last Monday morning. The driver of the bakkie, Murefi Chinyungurwa, 34, was recently denied bail.

He faces charges of drunken driving and culpable homicide.

United Pentecostal Church pastor Vilensky Meyer tried to console the Khambules, saying that on the other side of the grave there is grace.