Thupeyo Muleya, Beitbridge Bureau
At least 14 Zimbabweans including an eight months old toddler died in a car crush in South Africa this morning after a vehicle they were travelling in was involved in a head-on collision with a haulage truck.
The accident happened near along the R101 highway near Mokopane town in Limpopo Province.
South African police sources said 15 people including a Malawian national were killed in an accident which occurred around 3 am.
They said a Ford double cab was travelling towards Pretoria with 16 people including the driver while the truck was going in the opposite direction.
Limpopo police spokesperson Colonel Ronel Otto said, so far, they have recovered three Zimbabwean and one Malawian passports from the scene adding that the identification process was ongoing.
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She said they have charged the truck driver with culpable homicide.
“The incident occurred between Mokopane and Naboomspruit. The driver of the truck sustained minor injuries while two other people from the small vehicle survived and were taken to Mokopane hospital,” she said.
“The identities of the deceased are not known yet though we believe the majority could be Zimbabweans”.
She also called on motorists and other road users to always abide by the road traffic regulations so as to avoid unnecessary loss of life.
“We want to urge motorists to get enough rest during long journeys especially when travelling at night.”
Zimbabwe’s Consul General to South Africa, Mr Batiraishe Mukonoweshuro said they were working with S.A authorities in the identification of the victims.
He said they were also in touch with officials administering the Road Accident Fund (RAF) in Limpopo province for them to help with the repatriations of the bodies.
“We want to emphasise that those who die in South African road accidents will be assisted through the RAF which also approves funeral parlours to repatriate the remains of the deceased.
“Given that a number of the victims might not have been carrying identification documents on them it is encouraged that those with relatives and friends who travelled recently confirm whether they arrived at their destinations” he said.
The latest accident brings to 38 the total number of Zimbabweans who have died in road carnages in Limpopo province in the last 12 months.
MORE TO FOLLOW . . .