Crash victims remembered

Chester Makana and Elijar Mushiana

Devastated family members of the victims of the bus tragedy in Limpopo last week cried as they grieved over the deaths of their loved ones at a memorial service yesterday.

One of family members, Vhulahani Masase, whose mother, Sarah Mudimeli, died in the horrific accident, fainted. Nurses and emergency officials treated mourners overcome by grief during the service at the Rabali Stadium outside Thohoyandou yesterday.

The accident happened on February 19 when two buses collided head-on, killing 19 people. One of the buses was trying to avoid a donkey, which resulted in the accident.

Speaking at the service, Limpopo's MEC for roads and transport Justice Pitso, said billions of rands were lost because of fatalities on South African roads.

Pitso blamed corrupt department officials who sold licences to people who were not even able to drive.

He said: "On Monday I had a meeting with department officials, and asked them 'why are you killing people, because by giving someone a licence who can't drive you are killing the community'."

Pitso said people also have to take responsibility for livestock.

Speaking on behalf of the families Khathutshelo Raphalalani said: "We expect the government to help by taking care of the orphans and families who lost their loved ones."

A mass funeral for 18 of the 19 victims will be held at Rabali stadium on Sunday. Bus driver Mbengeni Tshivhase was buried last week.