By Whinsley Masara
Seven Zimbabweans died in Botswana after the wheel of an overloaded and speeding Toyota Hilux truck they were travelling in came off and the vehicle rammed into a tree before overturning.
The accident occurred at around 2AM on January 18 in Sherwood village, along Martins Drift Road in Tswapong District.
The vehicle was ferrying 17 people including the driver, all from Tsholotsho district under Chief Gampu’s area, and travelling to South Africa via Botswana.
The driver and his two assistants escaped unhurt and fled the scene of the crash.
Botswana Police Service (BPS) spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Dipheko Motube confirmed the accident on Friday.
“We received a report of an accident involving a Toyota VVT-I from Zimbabwe which was travelling to South Africa via Botswana. The 17 people who were on board were all Zimbabweans. A wheel came off and the driver lost control of the vehicle which then veered off the road and rammed into a tree before overturning.
Seven people were certified dead at one of our local hospitals while seven others were injured,” said Ass Comm Motube.
The deceased who were buried in their respective homes yesterday were identified as Mongameli Mpofu, Lizwe Ncube, Kelvin Ncube, John Vundla, Christopher Vundla, Otilia Ngwenya and Phephisani Ncube.
The injured were brought home and admitted to Mpilo Central Hospital in Bulawayo. The Chronicle