Bodies strewn in road

McKeed Kotlolo

McKeed Kotlolo

The bodies of five people were scattered all over the road after a head-on collision between a police vehicle and bakkie claimed six lives.

One of the dead was trapped in the burning police vehicle.

The occupants of the police vehicle were three cops, a police reservist and an informer.

"Their names will be made public tomorrow (today) when all families affected have been informed," Superintendent Abie Khoabane, spokesman for the Mpumalanga police, told Sowetan.

"The victims were from Daggakraal, Hendrina, Kriel in Mpumalanga and one from Limpopo, while the informant was from Bethal," Khoabane said.

There was only one male passenger in the twin-cab bakkie, but he also died on the spot.

The bloody collision occurred on Monday shortly before midnight, about 10km from Bethal on the Middelburg-Bethal road.

The policemen from the Emzinoni police station near Bethal were returning from Middelburg, where they had gone to look for a robbery and attempted murder suspect.

Khoabane said the police were investigating a robbery and attempted murder case committed in Emzinoni earlier this month and the trip was part of the investigation.

During the robbery, two suspects fired shots, which wounded a shop assistant. Police, however, later arrested one them.