KZN to pray for road victims

Alex Matlala and Sapa

Alex Matlala and Sapa

A memorial service is to be held for more than 30 people who died in separate accidents in KwaZulu-Natal on "black Monday", the province's safety and security MEC, Bheki Cele, said yesterday.

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sbu Ndebele has declared tomorrow a day of mourning for the victims.

The service is expected to be held at Curries Fountain in Durban.

"There will be prayers to ask for divine intervention to lift the dark cloud that has fallen on our beloved province," Cele said.

Four accidents within three hours claimed the lives of 31 people in KZN and by late evening another life was lost in a fifth smash.

A collision between a coal truck and minibus taxi near Dundee claimed the lives of 15 people. Another 12 people were killed, near Shongweni, when a bakkie ploughed into oncoming traffic.

In a third accident, near Mtubatuba on the N2, three more people died, while in a fourth accident a seven-year-old was killed in Hlabisa district when he was hit by a car.

A fifth accident occurred between Blood River and Utrecht at 8pm when a car landed in a dam. The driver died at the scene.

With Cele's department preparing for the Easter holidays, he said drivers must take extra safety precautions when driving in heavy traffic.

"W e can't have Monday's tragedy repeated," he said.

lLimpopo roads and transport MEC, Justice Pitso will increase the number of traffic officers on the roads in a bid to reduce deaths.

Pitso said this yesterday after 17 people died between Friday and Sunday on on the province's roads.

According to Pitso, speeding, unroadworthy vehicles and drunken driving were the major causes of the high number of deaths.

Meanwhile, the four people who died between Mokopane and Sekgakgapeng yesterday were Thomas Matlou, 39, Kenneth Molefe, 39, Florah Molefe, 34, and Khutso Molefe, 7.