Road accident victim battles Government for compensation 12 years after horror crash
12 years after surviving a horrific road accident whilst on a school trip, Phineas Reakae remains a frustrated man, angry at the lack of support he has received from government.
He is battling to cope with life and the memory of the accident which killed four of his mates from Sedie Junior Secondary School as well as two teachers and the bus driver.
“It was 27th August 2007. We had just won the national school football competition finals in Gaborone and we were driving back when our minibus collided with a truck near Rakops. I watched helplessly as my teammates, teachers and driver burnt to death inside the vehicle. Even now I can still hear their screams,” the 31-year-old recalled, his voice little more than a whisper.
“I suffered leg injuries and am still going through physical pain and trauma.”
Back then he thought he was the lucky one to have survived the horror.
Today, as he struggles to get his life back on track, he wonders if he may not have been better off dead.
“I have a metal pin in my left thigh which causes it to ache whenever it is cold and when it rains. I can no longer play football. I am full of anger and hatred. I have too much emotional stress and I therefore rarely socialise. I cannot be with my family because I feel unworthy,” said the father of two.
Following the incident he says he did not receive any form of counselling.
“I performed poorly in my junior secondary school and my life has been miserable ever since. I would have done better if I hadn’t been in hospital for two months. When I was discharged I went straight to the exam room in October and I was not given a chance to repeat or proceed further with my education.”
From being an A grade student, Keakae ended up with an E grade at JC and blames government for his failure.
Following the injury he was compensated with around P35, 000.
He used the money to buy a residential plot and build a house for himself.
Currently he is down and out and wants the government to give him at least P500, 000 so that he may kick start his life and earn a decent livelihood, something he is confident he could have created for himself had he not been injured.
As he continues his battle with government, Keakae came to The Voice’s Maun offices in the hope the publicity would spur the authorities into action before his frustrations lead him to do ‘something drastic’.
It has been five weeks since The Voice sent a questionnaire to the Ministry of Education. To date, the only response received from the public relation’s office is, “We are still gathering facts.”
Acting chief Public Relations Officer in the ministry, Onkarabile Phefo has promised a response ‘anytime now’.
12 years after the incident, it can’t come soon enough.