crash victims buried
Politicians, relatives and thousands of mourners wept uncontrollably yesterday when 22 coffins were lined up for burial in Bushbuckridge.
Those gathered were there to pay their last respects to the people - most of them in their 20s - who died in one of the worst accidents the province has witnessed this year.
They died in a road accident after the open truck in which they were traveling to work collided with a horse-and-trailer truck on November 12.
Bushbuckridge executive mayor Milton Morema quietly wept in front of the coffins as uniformed Mpumalanga police lined them up in front of open graves in Violetbank village, near Bushbuckridge, yesterday.
Mpumalanga Premier Thabang Makwetla said more than 1 000 people had been killed in 4276 road accidents in the province this year alone.
"We are here because we have heard the sorrow that befell you but we do not know what kind of words we should say because this is now becoming the norm in our province," a tearful Makwetla said.
"It is not long ago that 29 people died in a bus accident in Piet Retief, while another large number died early this year in Nelspruit."
MEC for roads and transport Jackson Mthembu told mourners that ANC president Jacob Zuma and President Kgalema Motlanthe had sent their condolences.
"They excused me from a meeting they are attending so that I could be here with you during this sad moment," Mthembu said.
"I also wish to thank Comrade Morema for pledging to buy Christmas clothes for the children who have suddenly become orphans as a result of the road carnage."
In all 25 people were killed in the accident 12 days ago.
The remaining three who were not buried yesterday will be laid to rest at their homes, including Zimbabwe.