Durban - The driver of a bakkie that plunged into a dam while carrying 30 schoolchildren has been arrested for murder, KwaZulu-Natal police said on Tuesday.

Five children died in the accident in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands on Monday morning.

“The 24-year-old man was driving along the D532 road in the Rietvlei area, near Elsmore Farm conveying (30) school children in his Colt bakkie,” said Colonel Jay Naicker in a statement.

“He allegedly lost control of the vehicle which plunged into a farm sludge dam. Twenty-five children managed get out of the dam alive and five bodies were recovered by the police search and rescue unit.

“The suspect, who was not injured, was arrested by members of Rietvlei SAPS,” said Naicker.

He said the man will face charges of murder, attempted murder, and reckless and negligent driving.

He will appear in the Greytown Magistrate's Court on Wednesday. - Sapa