Bishop José Luis Ponce de León of the Catholic Diocese Manzini Swaziland has urged faithful to conduct daily prayers to commemorate the young victims of the road accident that happened on August 28.
“We mourn the death of so many young girls… Let this be a time of prayer. I ask you all from today until next Sunday (06th September) to pray daily for those who died asking the Lord to welcome them home,” Bishop Ponce de León said in a statement.
The bishop called on the people of Swazi to be close to the families of these children and to support them in every possible way reported, Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC) News.
“Let us also pray for their families and friends that “the God of all consolation” (2 Cor 1:3) gives them peace and strength.
May it be a time of deep reflection in our lives,” he added.
The prelate further called for more to be done in order to avoid such tragedies in future.
“Aside from those directly responsible for Friday’s accident, we need to ask ourselves if there was anything more we could have done to prevent it. Why do we wait until something like this happens before we take every single life seriously? Let it be a time of solidarity,” he said.
According to the Swaziland Solidarity Network, the accident occurred on the highway connecting Mbabane to Manzini where at least 38 girls were killed and a dozen other people were injured.
The girls were going to the royal residence on the occasion of a traditional feast, “the dance of the reeds”, during which the king chooses a new wife from thousands of maidens.
Later the local police reduced the scale of the tragedy stating that the victims are 13 and not 38.