11 more Zimbabweans die in SA crash

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    Earlier this week, another 13 Zimbabweans perished along the same highway bringing the death toll to 24.Limpopo provincial police spokesman, Superintendent Moatshe Ngoepesaid the latest accident occurred at around 4am on a bridge.

    He said police had not yet established the cause of the accident.

    Victims’ bodies were ferried to Polokwane Government Hospital mortuary.

    "Preliminary investigations reveal that the Toyota Venture was traveling from Johannesburg to Zimbabwe and when it got to the bridge it encroached into the right lane before colliding with the haulage truck travelling in the opposite direction.

    "Eleven people in the Venture, including the driver, died on the spot."

    He said the victims were trapped under the wreckage and rescue teams had to rip open the damaged car to retrieve the bodies.

    Supt Ngoepe said the truck driver, who escaped with minor injuries, indicated that he had failed to avoid the Venture.

    He said they suspected driver fatigue was to blame.

    In an interview yesterday, Home Affairs co-Minister Kembo Mohadi said Government would assist bereaved families through Zimbabwe’s Embassy in South Africa.

    "We are really saddened by such a development where we lose 24people in a week to road carnage and we would like to extend our deepest condolences to the bereaved families," he said.

    Zimbabwe’s Consular-General in South Africa Mr Chris Mapanga described the accident as a great loss to the country and the families.

    He said Zimbabwe’s Embassy in South Africa was working flat-out to assist bereaved families to repatriate the bodies.

    "We are really saddened by this development and we are happy with thecooperation we are getting from the host government in terms of identification and we hope the bodies will be taken back home on Monday next week," he said.

    Civil Protection Unit director Mr Madzudzo Pawadyira said Government was working with South African authorities on the matter of repatriations.

    On Tuesday 13 Zimbabweans — among them a two-year-old girl — died while 18 others were injured in a pile-up involving a commuter omnibus, a lorry, a private car and a bus in Polokwane. Two South Africans also died.

    Meanwhile, another accident along the Zvishavane-Gweru Road claimed four lives when a commuter omnibus overturned.Eight other people were injured when the omnibus’ right front tyre burst.

    National police spokesperson Inspector Tigere Chigome said the driver lost control of the vehicle and it veered off the road.

    He said the names of the deceased would be released when the next of kin were notified.Insp Chigome urged public transporters to exercise caution and stop using old tyres.

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