Bronkhorstspruit crash victims officially identified

The 18 school children who died in a horror minibus taxi crash near Bronkhorstspruit a little over a week ago would be laid to rest this weekend‚ Gauteng education department spokesman Steve Mabona said on Tuesday evening.

“The funeral services for the victims of the Verena crash that occurred on April 21 will be on Saturday‚” he said in a statement.

Forensic experts he said‚ had finalised the process of identification through DNA testing on Monday. Families were asked to bring personal items such as toothbrushes so that tests could link the bodies‚ which were burned beyond recognition‚ to their respective families.

A mass funeral will be held for 16 of the learners and a general worker from Refano Primary School‚ who was the father of two children in the taxi‚ on Saturday in Wolvenkop near the scene of the crash.

“The other two children will be buried in Nongoma in KZN and Limpopo respectively‚” Mabona said.

The minibus that was transporting the children home from school collided head on with a truck before bursting into flames with the children still trapped inside the wreckage.

A total of 20 people were killed in the crash and seven were injured‚ three of whom are still in hospital..

The driver of the mini-bus was buried in Wolvenkop last Saturday.

The statement also confirmed that two memorial services would be held – one on Wednesday in Sokhulumi Village where four of the victims attended Mahlenga Secondary School and another in Verena on Thursday.

The Thursday event was open to the public and would feature a line-up of artists who had “volunteered to perform”.

Mabona said that Gauteng MEC for Education Panyaza Lesufi as well as Mpumalanga MEC for Community Safety Pat Ngomane would be attending both services.

 TMG Digital/TimesLIVE

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