Rugby teenager Bianca Ngolle was just starting to make a name for herself in the male-dominated sport of wrestling when she was knocked down and killed by a truck outside her school.
Maitland High School pupils watched in horror as the truck hit the 15-year-old as she walked home after extra classes, on Wednesday afternoon March 14.
About 300 people attended her funeral on Wednesday March 21.
Bianca’s family say she was always smiling and always ready to help others.
“We are very saddened by what happened to Bianca,” said her uncle, Alain Tchoufon.
“She was a genuinely good person and would act as a pillar of strength for others in the family despite being quite young. We lost a great person in Bianca, and we are still heartbroken. You wouldn’t even wish this sort of thing on your worst enemy, that’s how bad it hurts.”
Bianca was a member of the Goodwood Wrestling Club. The club’s chairman, Hayden Abrahams, said she had been their golden girl.
“She was a great athlete and an all-round good person. Bianca was with us for about three years and in such a male-dominated sport, she was making a name for herself as a force to be reckoned with.
“She was always humble, always smiling and always willing to help others and inspire. This is a great loss for us and the Western Cape wrestling community.”
Bianca was set to represent Western Province at the South African championships in Pretoria in July and Mr Abrahams said she had been looking forward to that.
Bianca would also leave a void at Maitland High School, said deputy principal Leon Kapp.
“She was a fantastic learner that produced quality work. To show that she was very committed, on that tragic day, she was on her way home from attending extra classes.
“We held a special assembly at the school last Thursday where we invited parents and other community members. Some of her peers spoke, and the message was clear that Bianca was a good friend and a nice person to be around.”
Mr Tchoufon said he was very disappointed with how the Maitland SAPS has handled the case.
“It seems like they don’t care. We are in the dark as we have not received any update since a day after Bianca’s passing. We want to know if a case has been opened against the driver of the truck. The owner of the truck has not even come to see the family after the incident happened,” he said.
Maitland police did not respond to repeated requests for comment, but provincial SAPS spokesman Captain FC Van Wyk said police were investigating a case of culpable homicide.