Nine people were killed in a crash on Helpmekaar road near Ladysmith in KwaZulu-Natal on Sunday afternoon.
The transport department said in a statement last night that according to reports from traffic police at the scene, a minibus collided with a bakkie, leaving nine passengers dead upon impact.
“The crash also left six passengers in a critical state, and four who escaped with minor injuries. They were all transported to Ladysmith Provincial Hospital to receive medical and trauma care. Of the total deceased, six were allegedly travelling in the minibus and the other three were in the bakkie, ” the department said.
The department said MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison, Mxolisi Kaunda had instructed a team of forensic experts to fast-track investigations to determine the real cause of the crash.
“It is deeply saddening to learn of such a dreadful crash that has claimed the lives of nine people and left others critically injured. Again, this crash could have been avoided if road and traffic rules were observed by the drivers. This calls for more stringent enforcement measures, especially as we are preparing for the upcoming, busy Easter weekend.”
He said the department was calling for a more united front from all spheres of society to curb road crashes and fatalities, as well as a change of mindsets and driver patterns on the road.
“On behalf of the provincial government of KwaZulu-Natal, we wish to send our heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of the deceased and wish those in hospital a speedy recovery,” said Kaunda.