By Mashudu Netsianda
Four Zimbabwean family members were killed when their car, a Toyota Fortuner, was involved in a head-on collision with a Porsche Cayenne on the N11 highway near Modelkloof in South Africa’s KwaZulu Natal Province.
The accident occurred on Saturday night between Ladysmith and Newcastle in northern KwaZulu-Natal.
In a statement, South African police spokesperson for KwaZulu Natal Province, Brigadier Jay Naicker, said all the eight people who were travelling in both cars died on the spot after one of the cars burst into flames.
“Eight people were killed in a horror collision as one of the vehicles, a Porsche Cayenne, burst into flames on impact and all its four occupants were burnt beyond recognition.
“It is alleged that there were no number plates on the car. Four other people in the second vehicle, a Toyota Fortuner, two adults and two children, also died at the scene,” he said.
KwaZulu-Natal Emergency Medical Services’ spokesperson Mr Robert McKenzie said:
“Tragically eight people have sustained fatal injuries in this crash. This includes two children and the exact cause of this crash is not known at this stage and police are investigating. After the crash one vehicle burst into flames,” he said.
Brig Naicker yesterday identified the Zimbabwean victims as Tonderai Godfrey Sithole (38) the driver, his wife Faith Sithole (36) and their children, Shalom Sithole (10) and Shekinah Sithole (5).
The South Africans were identified as Dheeraj Sureshchand Singh (41), his wife Ronithah Singh (40) and their children Suman Singh (21) and Sanjana Singh (16).
Transport, Community and Safety MEC (Member of the Executive Council) Mr Bheki Ntuli said he was saddened by the continued loss of life.
He extended his condolences to the families of the deceased and pledged that his department would offer support to the bereaved families.
“I am deeply saddened at the continued loss of lives, particularly as we just laid to rest six people who died in another accident last week in Peacevale.
“What is most worrying is that it seems as though motorists are not adhering to road rules and speed limits, which is the main cause of these accidents.
“I will be meeting Road Traffic Inspectorate officials to see how we can increase our visibility particularly in the hot spots over the weekend,” said Mr Ntuli.
He urged the police to speed up the investigation into the cause of the accident.
“Traffic officials worked around the clock with the assistance of SAPS to find out who the owner of the Porsche is as the car had no registration. Losing an entire family in just one accident is such a great tragedy and in this particular accident we have lost two families.
“We once again extend our heartfelt condolences to the families of the deceased and our officials will continue supporting the families as they make arrangements to bury their loved ones,” Mr Ntuli said. The Chronicle