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R503 horror crash was 'last straw'

Industry news

Potchefstroom - The accident that claimed six lives on Monday has jolted the North West provincial government into action.

Community Safety and Transport Management MEC Gaoage Molapisi said there would be an increased number of traffic officers patrolling the R503 from now on at night and at weekends, when most of the accidents take place.

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900 04.06.2014 Remains of two cars that were involved in a badly accident on Monday are seen at the scene, five prison warders from the Rooigrond correctional service and a police officer lost their lives during accident along the R503 between Lichtenburg and Mafikeng. Picture: Itumeleng English

Their operations would focus on speeding, overloading, and drinking and driving in an effort to reduce the number of crashes.

Five Correctional Services officers and a policeman died after a head-on collision between a Toyota Corolla and an SA Police Service vehicle in which a lone police officer was driving.

Molapisi said traffic officers who were on the scene suspected that speeding while overtaking might have been the cause of the smash.

The five correctional officers were on their way back to Mahikeng from an early- morning shift when they collided with the police officer on his way to Potchefstroom.

Wiseman Manxusa was on duty at the time of the crash, his brother Mbulelo Manxusa said.

“My brother was a provincial officer, so he travelled between Mahikeng and Potchefstroom.

“The SAPS called me to tell me about the accident. His death was a terrible shock for the family,” Manxusa added.

He said his brother was the breadwinner, with a wife and three children to support.

Molapisi said six people dying in one accident was too many.

“We cannot continue losing lives like this.

“As we speak, women are widows and children are orphans because of this reckless behaviour on the road.”

Two memorial services were due to be held today: one for the five correctional officers at the Rooigrond Correctional Centre at 10am.

A separate commemoration service at Potchefstroom police station was scheduled for 2pm.

The Star

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