Watch Two Young Heroes From Train Crash Uniting South Africa

A video of two young boys, who behaved like true heroes after Thursday’s tragic train smash, is going viral as it shows the very best of South Africans, and gives so much hope for the future. It’s not only their heroic deeds that are inspiring SA citizens, but that they both – white and black – worked together and speak in Sesotho during the interview.

The crash occurred in the Free State on Thursday morning when a passenger train – travelling from Port Elizabeth to Johannesburg – collided with a truck on a level crossing, causing the train to derail and catch fire. The current death toll stands at 19 (8 men, 5 women, 4 girls and 2 undetermined).

These two young South African boys, along with others, stepped up to help mothers who were desperately throwing their babies out the train to be saved, as flames encroached and they lay trapped by the mangled wreck.

The video was posted to Twitter by eNCA journalist Mike Appel. He said: “The best of South Africa comes out at the most challenging of times. These two friends, Evert du Preez (12) and Mokoni Chaka (12), describe how they helped rescue people at the #TrainCrash.”

WATCH two young boys describe how they helped rescue people at the Train Crash


To those who responded about the positive lessons from these children of South Africa, Mike said: “Absolutely. Sometimes we have to find and hold on to the good in a terrible situation.

“Strange thing is kids are supposed to be learning from us. Not today. Today they taught us all.”

After watching the video, Nelson Mandela’s former assistant Zelda la Grange said: “Don’t you also wish all people could be kids again. So beautiful. Just full of love and bravery…”

Appel also praised Evert’s mom and tweeted: “Welcome to Twitter Julie du Preez. You can be very proud of your boy for everything he and so many others did at the #TrainCrash. It was great to meet you today. Thank you for your courage and hospitality.”

Watch Evert’s mom, Julie du Preez, describe the train collision