soccer mass funeral

Alex Matlala

Alex Matlala

The remains of seven Limpopo soccer players who died on Saturday in a head-on collision will be buried at a mass funeral in Marble Hall on Saturday.

This brings to nine the total number of people who died on Limpopo roads on Saturday.

In the first incident, seven soccer players from Mohlalaotwane village near Marble Hall were killed when the bakkie in which they were travelling crashed head-on with a sedan.

The accident took place on a road between Maleoskop, near Groblersdal, and Marble Hall.

The soccer players were returning from a soccer match in Maleoskop at about 8pm.

The driver of the bakkie was trying to overtake on the barrier line when the accident occurred, police said yesterday.

Seven players, including the driver of the bakkie, died at the scene and the other two in the car died a few hours after arrival at Polokwane Hospital.

The deceased were identified as Kagiso Madiseng, 22, Donald Maserumule, 14, Obet Moshoeshoe, 24, Pule Moshoeshoe, 24, Mahlatse Matlala, 21, Oliver Matlala, 24, and Steven Mahole, 28.

Greater Sekhukhune local municipal spokesman, Selby Makgotho, said the municipality will take care of the funeral costs for all the deceased.

"We visited all the bereaved families yesterday and agreed in principle to help them financially and with all the other logistics of the funeral.

"The families also agreed to conduct a joint funeral at a local sports ground where the deceased held their soccer practices," said Makgotho.

Makgotho said all the affected families would receive counselling to help them cope with the stress and trauma of their loss.

Expressing his sympathy, roads and transport MEC Justice Pitso yesterday said it was illegal for people to use bakkies and other unauthorised vehicles to transport a group of people.

Meanwhile, the names of five people who died when a police truck plunged into the bushes in Musina on Saturday have not yet been released.

Police said the names of the deceased would be released after their next of kin had been informed.

The accident happened when the driver of the truck which was deporting 45 Zimbabweans lost control, plunging into the bushes along the road between Musina and Beit-Bridge.

Several passengers who sustained injuries in the accident were receiving treatment at the Musina Hospital.