High death toll in minibus taxi, bakkie crash

Frank Maponya

Frank Maponya

Limpopo MEC for roads and transport Justice Pitso yesterday sent a strong warning to motorists to exercise extra caution "to avoid unnecessary accidents".

This follows a fatal accident on the Stokpoort-Lephalale road on Friday afternoon that claimed the lives of at least 10 people.

According to Boikie Tsedu, Pitso's spokesman, a bakkie was making a U-turn and the driver allegedly did not notice a minibus taxi coming down the road.

The taxi, loaded with commuters, rammed into the bakkie. Nine people, including both drivers, died immediately.

One person died later while another died on arrival at the Lephalale Hospital.

Tsedu said two people were airlifted to Polokwane Hospital in a critical but stable condition.

The other four survivors were still at Lephalale Hospital with minor injuries at the time of going to print yesterday.

According to Tsedu, a passenger in the bakkie also died.

Pitso said: "While we cannot avoid deaths that occur at any given time, we want to warn motorists to be cautious when driving on the roads in order to avoid unnecessary accidents."

He said he believed the accident would not have happened had the driver of the bakkie checked before making a U-turn.

"It is always advisable for people to consider the safety of others before doing anything that might endanger their lives on the road."

Pitso conveyed his condolences to families who lost their loved ones in the accident.

"To the families of the victims, the Limpopo government will always be with you during these trying times.

"We also wish those who are still in hospital a speedy recovery," Pitso said.

Superintendent Malesela Ledwaba yesterday identified those killed as Tshepiso Motadi, 30, Kgalemelo Ali Seleka, 30, Alogeng Jeaneth Mogano, 40, Daniel Lebudi, 45, Flora Raesetja Pelego, 38, John Mafifi, 25, all from GaSeleka village in Lephalale; Bradley Muchecho, 26, from Venda; and two Botswana nationals, Hospital Tarea, 72, and Rebecca Sello, 48.

The driver of the bakkie could not be identified his next of kin had not a yet been informed.