10 Zimbabweans perish in SA accident
By Thupeyo Muleya
SOUTH AFRICA- Ten Zimbabweans died on the spot, while 15 others were seriously injured when a Harare-bound Iveco minibus collided with a haulage truck 25km outside Makhadho town along the N1 Highway in South Africa early yesterday morning.
The accident occurred at around 4:50am. Nine of the deceased, including a child, were in the bus while the 10th victim was the driver of the truck. Police spokesman for Makhadho Captain Maano Sadike confirmed the accident saying they were now investigating a case of culpable homicide.
He said the Iveco minibus was travelling from Bandeleirkop to Harare with 24 passengers on board, including the crew, while the haulage truck was travelling from Musina to Durban. “The Iveco minibus was travelling from Bandeleirkop to Harare with 24 people on board including the crew.
“When it was 25km away from Makhadho town, the driver of the bus tried to overtake a car ahead of a car carrier (truck), which had been travelling in the opposite direction. As a result the two collided, killing nine people in the minibus and the driver of the truck instantly.
“Fifteen other people were seriously injured. The assistant truck driver escaped unhurt. The matter was reported to police and we are now investigating a case of culpable homicide.”
The deceased were taken to Elim Hospital mortuary, while the injured were taken to the same hospital. Others were sent to Louis Trichardt Memorial Hospital where their condition is reported to be serious.
“We are still making efforts to contact the victims’ next of kin. Among the deceased were eight men, one woman and one young boy and we are yet to ascertain their ages though they are confirmed Zimbabweans,” he said.
Capt Sadike said they were concerned with the increase in road carnage in their area and urged motorists to abide by road regulations to avoid unnecessary loss of life.
“We want to warn errant motorists that their days are numbered. We are very concerned with the increase in fatal road accidents in this area.” he said.
The incident comes a few days after four Zimbabwean deportees and a South African policeman were seriously injured when a police truck transporting them back to Zimbabwe was involved in an accident along the N1 highway.
The incident occurred at around 3pm near Ingwe Motel, three kilometres outside Makhadho town. The Tata truck was travelling from Polokwane to Beitbridge with 38 illegal immigrants. The stretch between Polokwane and Musina town along the N1 Highway has become a black spot.
Last year, close to 30 Zimbabweans were killed there in road accidents. The N1 Highway is the busiest road in South Africa as it links that country with the rest of Africa. The Herald