Transport minister Fikile Mbalula says a minibus that collided with a truck in the Eastern Cape – killing 15 people and injuring two – was fully loaded‚ in contravention of the lockdown regulations.
The head-on crash happened on the N2 between Mount Ayliff and Mount Frere on Wednesday afternoon.
“Initial reports placed the death toll at 11. However‚ rescue officials have since discovered 4 more bodies at the scene of the collision‚” the transport ministry said in a statement.
“The deceased were all occupants of the minibus taxi‚ while the injured were in the truck.”
Mbalula sent his condolences to the bereaved‚ adding that the matter had been handed over to law enforcement officials for investigation.
“The Road Traffic Management Corporation’s crash investigation unit will be working with the South African Police Service to ascertain the cause of the collision and probe the contravention of the lockdown regulations‚” said the ministry.
“It is very disturbing that at a time when the number of Covid-19 cases is climbing on a daily basis‚ there are still those who have no regard for the regulations in place. The 70% passenger limit had been widely communicated and is known by everyone‚” Eastern Cape transport‚ safety and liaison MEC Weziwe Tikana-Gxothiwe told DispatchLIVE.
“It is this complete disregard for the rule of law that has led us to where we are today.
“This one is really hard to take – especially at a time like this‚ when our roads are virtually deserted‚ when there’s minimal traffic flow due to the national lockdown.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the bereaved families during this difficult time.”
The accident is a major setback to the province after it recorded a record low of eight fatalities during Easter.
Source: TMG Digital.