Memorial services to be held in Botswana for bus crash victims

Limpopo crash victims
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Memorial services for the 45 Botswana nationals who died in a bus crash in South Africa will be held in different regions in Botswana.

The government of Botswana and Bakwena traditional leader, Kgosi Kgari III, met with families of those who died after the bus they were travelling in plunged off a bridge in Limpopo last week.

United in grief, Kgosi Kgari III met with his people with the aim of sharing more information with the next of kin.

“We are in a situation where we lost some of our family members. We still ask ourselves questions because we do not know what situation they are in now. They were on a trip where we thought they would come back and we (would) meet again and unfortunately, that did not happen. Their bodies are still in our neighbouring country, South Africa. we don’t even know when they are going to be brought back. No one can prepare the burials until we know when the bodies are going to be brought back.”

Messages of condolences

Minister in the Presidency in Botswana, Kabo Morwaeng, also conveyed a message of condolences.

“What has happened to Botswana has affected the president of Botswana, has affected the Botswana government, Botswana citizens have been affected, has affected the ZCC church and families have been affected. This is the first time we find ourselves in this situation. It is the first time we find ourselves gathered in this way. This has also affected two governments. South Africa has been very supportive in this tragedy.”

Banneetse Keakile from ZCC ST Engenas was there to comfort the families. “The scene is about 74 kilometres from Mokopane and when we got there to the tragic scene what comforted us is that experienced doctors were there. Police generals were also there, forensic teams were also there. It was an emotional situation. They were still trying to bring up the remains and one could not even look over the bridge. It was not a pleasant situation.”

Psychologists on board

Botswana’s Deputy Director for Social Development, Ellen Kgotlhang, says a team of psychologists has been assembled to help those affected.

“Now we have a team on the field together with psychologists that are hard at work and also appeal to those who can offer their services to lend their support. The team has started door-to-door visits to assist those who have been affected. The team has also visited 31 families.”

The process of repatriating the bodies is underway.