Ten church members en route to bereaved family die in forest accident

Thirteen occupants - 12 women and a male driver - allegedly rolled backwards on an uphill section of gravel road on Tuesday, killing 10. Stock image.
Thirteen occupants - 12 women and a male driver - allegedly rolled backwards on an uphill section of gravel road on Tuesday, killing 10. Stock image.
Image: 123RF/Jaromír Chalabala

Transport minister Fikile Mbalula has sent condolences to families who lost loved ones after 10 women were killed on Tuesday when a vehicle rolled into a forest at Mthatha in the Eastern Cape.

A light delivery vehicle travelling from Mpahle location towards the Thafalehashe administrative area with 13 occupants - 12 women and a male driver - allegedly rolled backwards on an uphill section of gravel road.

Ten women died. The driver and two other occupants were injured. The injured were taken to Zithulele Hospital.

“Tragedy has struck during a month when we ought to be celebrating women, not mourning their untimely passing. Our hearts are broken. The deceased are alleged to be members of a church, who were on their way to pay their respects to a family that had suffered a bereavement,” said Mbalula.

“It is sad to hear that their own families are now experiencing similar devastation. Our sincere condolences to the bereaved.”

The minister wished the injured a swift recovery.

“An investigation by the Road Traffic Management Corporation and the South African Police Service is under way to determine the exact cause of this crash,” he added.

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