Families have been left traumatised and heartbroken after six learners were killed and several others injured when a bakkie they were travelling in lost control, hit a wall and a house at Shikundu village outside Malamulele in Limpopo yesterday. The incident has shocked the entire community.

The learners were hitchhiking from school and got a lift from the driver of the bakkie.

A dark cloud has fallen in the villages of Salema and Ximixoni, outside Malamulele.  The area has never experienced such an incident.

The learners had dreams of completing school and pursuing different careers.

The bereaved families are devastated. The Ringani family at Salema village has lost their son. Vukosi Ringani was a Grade 11 learner at Jim Chavani High School.

The family spokesperson Tiyani Ringani says they are heartbroken.

“I got a call from my wife when she was coming back from school. We were shocked when she called us. He was coming back from school. He got into an accident at Ximoxini. It’s so difficult because he always helped us with everything that we needed, you know. Everyone at home is very so sad.”

Another family at Ximixoni has lost their son, a grade ten learner at Jim Chavani high school. 16-year-old Tommy Nkanyani was one of the learners who passed away.

Family Spokesperson Millicent Nkanyani says they are devastated.

“It is very difficult to accept what has happened. He was still young. We are heartbroken. We will appreciate any help from the community and even the government.”

A local headman, Livingstone Magomani, says the whole community is deeply touched.

“We’re very very disappointed about what happened. I was near the scene where it happened. We’re very, very sad about what happened, very difficult to accept because like what happened we’re not used (to it) and the people who died there are young people, the future.”

Limpopo Transport Department has sent its condolences to the affected families.

Department Spokesperson Mike Maringa says, “Limpopo Transport and Community Safety MEC Mavhungu Lerule Ramakhanya has sent messages of condolences to the families of the victims of the accident that happened at Ximixoni near Malamulele, whereby six learners were killed in a car that they had hitchhiked from school. The MEC is making a plea to all motorists to follow the rules of the road and drive within the prescribed speed limits.”

Social workers have been providing counselling to the families.

Police have opened an inquest.