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TAXI bosses from the Jolivet Taxi Association continued with their visits to families who lost loved ones in Monday's horrific minibus accident.
Police said the crash claimed 17 lives, including that of the taxi driver. Five other passengers escaped with serious injuries.
The overloaded taxi was transporting passengers from Jolivet to Durban when it collided head-on with a truck on the R612 between Umzinto and Ixopo on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast.
Taxi Association chairperson Dumisani Khumalo yesterday said they had met with families who lost their loved ones in the horrific accident.
The operators transported some relatives of the deceased to Scottsburgh police station where blood samples, to be used for DNA tests to identify the victims, were drawn .
"We opted to take responsibility, a- assist the families with funeral arrangements and work together with the department of transport," Khumalo said.
"We will also transport them to Home Affairs to get death certificates. At the moment we are waiting for DNA results to confirm the names of the victims.
"Our plan is to have a mass funeral but the driver will be buried separately because he has been positively identified."
Elderly Bhekithemba Mjoka, who lost his middle-aged son Mhlekhona in the accident, was still shocked yesterday.
"This is a shock for us. We are grateful that taxi owners are taking the lead. They helped us and took us to the police station," Mjoka said.
One of the survivors, Msawenkosi Ncayiya, is also mourning his father, Patrick Ncayiya, who was at his side in the taxi.
"I don't know how I escaped the inferno," Ncayiya said.
Sonosakhe Ncayiya said they had yet to establish how his brother managed to escape.
"We are grieving the death of our father and we are concerned about Msawenkosi," he said.
"He was discharged from hospital but has been taken back to the doctor for assessment because he is not well emotionally and physically."
Provincial transport department Spokesperson Lungile Ndlovu said the department had planned a memorial service for next Thursday.
Ndlovu said the families would be helped with all funeral agreements.
"We are not sure when exactly the funeral will take place because the DNA results might take some time.
"The families will also be assisted with their Road Accident Fund claims."
He said most crash victims had still not been positively identified as police waited for the DNA results.