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Johannesburg - Ten people died after a bus accident at the R66 and R34 intersection in Melmoth on Sunday afternoon, said the KwaZulu-Natal Health Department.
Health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo said nine girls and one adult had died in the crash.
Paramedics earlier reported that eight people had died - two women and six men.
The bus was carrying people returning from the Reed Dance ceremony, which took place at the Nyokeni Royal Palace in Nongoma.
“The nine girls had taken part in the ceremony while the adult had accompanied them,” he said.
Paramedics said 62 others were injured when the bus overturned, slid down the road and smashed into the steel barriers.
“Paramedics arrived at the scene and found that the barriers had pierced through the front of the bus,” said ER24 spokesman Chris Botha.
Dhlomo was on his way to see some of the injured at Ngwelezana Hospital on Sunday night.
Others who were injured were admitted to Eshowe Hospital.
“It is a tragic loss and we convey our condolences to the families of those that have died,” he said.
Earlier, the KZN Transport MEC Willies Mchunu said he had instigated a probe into the crash.
“I have instructed the law enforcers to assess the cause of the accident, the state of the driver and the roadworthiness of the bus,” Mchunu said in a statement.
“We are all shocked at the spate of accidents, especially in the last three months, which show a dramatic increase in road fatalities. The other worrying trend is that many of these accidents involve the loss of young lives. In this instance, these children had gone to participate in a cultural ceremony that promotes the wellbeing and dignified growth of young girls through to adult life,” he said.
Mayor of Zululand Zanele KaMagwaza Msibi said she was shocked and saddened by the incident.
“Our condolences go to the families of the deceased and His Majesty the King (Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu) and the royal family as the organisers of the ceremony. I also wish for a speedy recovery to those who were injured and recuperating in different hospitals,” she said. - Sapa