NEWS

New Year Despair For Mum

Salanieta Sigavou was looking forward to returning to her mother’s arms for the New Year’s celebrations. At Ovalau Village, 32 kilometres from the King’s Highway at Nasau, in the interior
01 Jan 2017 11:00
New Year Despair For Mum
Distraughted mother Sera Tekina (right) with her brother Eparama Qelo at Ovalau Village in Ra. Photo: Charles Chambers

Salanieta Sigavou was looking forward to returning to her mother’s arms for the New Year’s celebrations.

At Ovalau Village, 32 kilometres from the King’s Highway at Nasau, in the interior of Ra, her mother Sera Tekina was waiting to hug her only child.

It was also the day for the traditional 100 nights ceremony for Salanieta’s grandfather, Eparama Qelo who had passed away.

Salanieta was returning from Nabuli Village in Rewa, where she had spent Christmas with relatives.

However, the Nasau District School student, who was supposed to start Year 6 this year, never got to see her mum.

She is believed to have been accidentally thrown out of a moving vehicle, driven by a relative on Friday afternoon, at Naqoro Flats, in Rakiraki.

The Fiji Sun arrived at the village yesterday and was greeted by Ms Tekina, who at that time did not know of the tragedy.

At home, Salanieta’s  two brothers, Manasa and Eparama Qelo, were trying to find a way to break the bad news to her.

An older uncle advised the brothers and they took their sister to another house where they told her of the tragedy.

The painful cry of a mother could be heard throughout the village, which has 32 homes.

Ms Tekina’s smiling face minutes earlier had turned to one of pain and sorrow.

The 32-year-old mother said she had spoken to her daughter earlier in the day and recalled her daughter’s last words to her – “I’m coming home mum, wait for me.”

Mr Qelo, who had accompanied Salanieta from Rewa, said when they reached Rakiraki Town, they were waiting to board the carrier that was to take them back to the village.

The driver of the carrier, Salanieta’s uncle, however wanted to carry out some repairs on the carrier at a garage, and thinking they were leaving, Salanieta jumped into the back of the vehicle.

Mr Qelo said she called out to him as the carrier was leaving and he told her he would walk and meet them as they passed on the other side.

Her uncle, the driver, his son and a mechanic were all sitting in front and it was his son who noticed Salanieta at the back.

However, when they reached the garage, they noticed she was not there and when they drove back the same way, they saw her lying on the road with some people who had arrived there before them.

It is believed no one saw how the tragedy happened and the driver has since been questioned and released.

Police spokesperson Ana Naisoro confirmed this and said there was also no confirmation on when the post mortem would be done.

At Ovalau Village, the celebrations for New Year have been set aside as they prepare to bury a little girl whom they described as cheerful and obedient.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

Feedback: charles.chambers@fijisun.com.fj

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