Deadly weekend on South Africa’s roads

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Twenty four learners are still in a critical condition in hospital after seven fellow learners were killed in a crash when the truck they were travelling in, overturned outside Zeerust in North West.

The learners were at a soccer match in Driefontein village.

The driver of the truck lost control, crashed into a tree and overturned. The learners who died are between 12 and 15-years- old.

Some of the distraught family members who re-visited the scene late Sunday afternoon have expressed their pain.

“His name was Mpho – a gift that God has given to us. Look at his academic awards he received last week. We are trying to be strong but it’s painful. We cannot cope. We cannot even eat. We are really distraught,” says family a member.

“It’s a mess here at the accident scene. The car knocked off the poles. It’s like a multi-car crash but it was just one vehicle. It’s so painful. This is really painful.”

The North West provincial Education Department Spokesperson Elias Malindi says the MEC Mmaphefo Matsemela will visit the survivors of the crash in hospital as well as the families of the deceased.

“We are very much devastated about this incident, especially at the most critical time of writing final examinations. So, we are very much heartbroken by this incident.”

More than 10 other people have lost their lives in separate car crashes in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng since last night. Two people have been killed and one critically injured in KwaZulu-Natal on the N3 westbound near Estcourt.

Road Traffic Inspectorate Spokesperson Zinhle Mngomezulu Mali says one of the victims burned to death after their vehicle burst into flames.

“It is alleged that the driver failed to negotiate a bend causing the collision. There is another person that sustained injuries. However, he was taken to Midlands hospital. Two counts of culpable homicide are being investigated. At the moment, we’ve got RTI busy controlling traffic on the scene in that area due to the fact that the fast lane is obstructed,” says Mngomezulu.

In Gauteng, six people died in two separate crashes. Five people lost their lives in a horrific car crash at Mofolo in Soweto.

Johannesburg Metro Police say the driver of the vehicle lost control in the early hours of Sunday morning.

All the occupants in the car died at the scene. Meanwhile, one man was killed and two others seriously injured after a car and a bakkie collided in Midrand, north of Johannesburg on Sunday morning.

JMPD Spokesperson Wayne Minaar says investigations are underway in the Soweto crash.

“Five people died in the early hours of the morning. The accident happened at about 05h50 and the driver of the Opel Corsa lost control and the vehicle overturned. All the occupants, one male drive, male passenger and three female passengers died instantly and were taken to a mortuary. There will be an investigation into the accident and the cause of the accident will also be investigated,” says Minaar.