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Durban - The driver of the bus that was transporting Zulu maidens and minders from the annual reed dance at Enyokeni Palace in Nongoma, when it crashed on the R66 near Melmoth last month, is still free.
An 11th person died in hospital last week.
The bus was fitted with a tracking device and had undergone a roadworthiness test in the same week of the crash, a source said.
But unlike the attention given to the Fields Hill accident, the 23-year-old uMlazi driver, who was discharged two days after the crash, has still not been charged.
It has also emerged that the son of IFP MP Narend Singh is the owner of the bus company - Malundi Excursions.
Eleven of Malundi’s buses had travelled to Nongoma that weekend.
Singh said on Wednesday that he did not have any shares in his son’s company which operates from Port Shepstone. Shikar Singh, 34, was the sole owner.
A source linked to the Singh family said the bus had been fitted with a tracking device which had recorded speeds of between 60km/h and 90km/h shortly before the crash. The source dismissed claims that the bus was unroadworthy.
“All the buses underwent a roadworthiness test days before travelling to Nongoma. There were no faults.”
The source said the police must finalise the investigation.
“The family are sad at the loss of lives. But they are not worried about the investigation.”
Shikar Singh said the original driver of the bus was arrested after the reed dance on suspicion of being drunk and had not yet reported back to work. He would not comment further.
A hospital source said the 23-year-old driver had been treated at Eshowe Hospital and discharged two days after the crash. He had allegedly been told to drive the bus by officials, and was not appointed by the company.
KZN Department of Health spokesman, Sam Mkhwanazi, said they could not provide any information about the driver.
Police spokesman, Colonel Jay Naicker, said specialist accident investigators had inspected the bus and once the probe was completed, a report would be forwarded to the investigating officer.
A charge of culpable homicide was being investigated but the driver had not been arrested.
“We will first need to complete our investigation and forward the docket to the public prosecutor before a decision can be made to charge anyone,” Naicker said.
“Detectives have to consider many factors before taking a decision to charge someone.”
KZN Department of Transport spokesman, Kwanele Ncalane, said the Road Traffic Inspectorate forensic inspection of the bus had also been completed and a report handed to the investigating officer.
He said the department would continue to make unannounced visits to bus and trucking companies.
He said the fact that the Malundi Excursions depot had not been visited to date did not mean it would not happen in the future.
Meanwhile, another young woman succumbed to her injuries on Thursday, bringing the death toll to 11.
Ntokozo Sithole, 22, had been trapped under the bus. She died at Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital.
Sithole will be buried at Mbabazane village in Umzumbe on Saturday.
Royal spokesman, Prince Mbonisi Zulu, said members of the Royal House would attend. Umzumbe mayor, Sydney Gumede, said a task team had been set up to assist families to process claims from the Road Accident Fund.
Ngidi Mfaniselo Duma, whose daughter, Hlengiwe, died in the crash, said once their mourning period was over they would focus their attention on getting answers.
“All we were told was that the investigation has not yet been completed,” he said.
Thulisile Shazi, whose daughter, Busisiswe, was injured, said police needed to bring the guilty parties to book.