Bodies of Zimbabweans killed in Limpopo bus crash handed to envoy

South Africa

The bodies of nine Zimbabweans who were killed in a bus accident in Limpopo province were on Thursday officially handed over to representatives of their government at an event held at the Petersburg provincial hospital.

“It was an emotional and sad event indeed. It was also very emotional to the families who have lost their beloved ones. The people perished in an accident on Friday morning, about 20 kilometres from Polokwane city in a place called Westernberg,” Zimbabwe’s Consul General Henry Mukonoweshuro said speaking to African News Agency (ANA).

Mukonoweshuro thanked the South African government, and its agencies like the Road Accident Fund for assisting the bereaved families, and the injured.

“We are grateful that the South African government, through the Road Accident Fund provided coffins and all funeral services through engagement of three funeral parlours. They continue to meet the costs of those still hospitalised. Intercape [the bus company] also gave some consolation money and were also providing food and transportation of the deceased’s families. They have also provided a bus to the relatives,” said Mukonoweshuro.

Another international coach also crashed in Limpopo province last week, killing at least 11 Zambian nationals who were travelling from their country. Many were injured. Given the frequent bus accidents, it would be proper to tighten the rules on the movement of buses.

The Zimbabwean driver is facing culpable homicide charges after the crash and was denied bail in the Polokwane Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.

Police spokesman Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe said George Themba, who comes from Harare also faces an additional charge of negligent and reckless driving. His case was postponed to next month.

The 41-year-old bus driver was admitted to a hospital following Friday’s horrific accident where nine people perished and 51 others were injured when he lost control of the bus and it overturned. The bus was travelling along the N1 highway to Gauteng.

The man was arrested on Monday as he tried to flee to Zimbabwe following after he was discharged from hospital. Police found him hiding in a trailer transporting goods, headed to Zimbabwe.


African News Agency/ANA

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