Mom whose two sons died in car accident tells her story
Madisema Mokoena says her spirit died along with her boys’ after she lost control of her vehicle.
Madisema Mokoena and her sons Lesedi and Lethabo

It was on the fateful day 17 April 2017 that 39-year-old Madisema Mokoena lost control of her vehicle while traveling from QwaQwa to Pretoria and her life took an unimaginable turn following the passing of her two sons.  

This is her story.

“On 17 April in 2017 I travelled to Pretoria from QwaQwa with my two older brothers. I was going to pick up my two boys, Lesedi and Lethabo after they had spent their Easter holidays with my mother.

We were about two and half hours away from QwaQwa and about 10 km from the small toe, that was when I lost control of the car after trying to avoid a pothole on the road and had a terrible accident, which took my boys' lives, but not mine.

Lesedi, who was 14-years-old at the time, died on impact.

I remember vividly seeing Lesedi’s body lying there helpless. I cannot explain the depth of pain I felt after being told that he had died.

I felt like my best friend had left me, we were so close that even people who had witnessed our relationship said that Lesedi should’ve been a girl.

Just as I was coming to terms with the loss of my first son, my 7-year-old Lethabo was in a critical condition and had to be transferred to Pelonomi Hospital in Bloemfontein because his brain was swollen.

And just when I thought things couldn’t get any worse, I was told that my little boy Lethabo passed on the next day.

On that day my spirit died.

I spent the next few months trying to figure out how to live without my kids. Going home to an empty home every day after work was the most painful experience of my life – I couldn’t stop blaming myself. 

A police officer paid me a visit shortly after I had been discharged from hospital, to inform me that I had been charged with culpable homicide – however after countless failed attempts to get further information on the pending case, to this day I still haven’t made a court appearance.

My two brothers and I had survived the car accident, but my sons are gone forever. All I have is a scar on my left arm and the horrific memories of the tragic accident that took the loves of my life away from me.

I still break down and cry, I still wish I could have died with my kids.

The hardest thing for me after losing my kids was living without them when I spent 14 years of my life being a mother. I struggled to learn how to live without them.

Now after a year, I talk about my kids every day to everyone who cares to listen to keep their memory alive. I share the things they use to do, we built beautiful memories together.

The only time I was not with my kids was when they were at school, me at work or during school holidays when they were visiting granny in QwaQwa.

They were my life. What do I live for now? I am still trying to figure that out but I’m taking it day-by-day.”

This story was submitted to Drum and is minimally edited. Do you want to tell your story? Email

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