Biologist sues after bus crash in Zimbabwe

Lusaka - A 29-year-old environmental biologist is suing the Trans Zambezi Express bus company and one of its bus drivers in the Cape High Court after she lost her leg during a collision four years ago.

Eight people were killed in the accident and several were injured.

But the company and bus driver are holding the Zimbabwean government responsible for the collision because the truck that the bus had crashed into belonged to the Zimbabwean military.

Hannah Flanders, of the United Kingdom but who now lives in Zambia, was a passenger on a Trans Zambezi Express bus travelling in Zimbabwe en route to Beit Bridge in 2001 when it collided with a stationary army truck.

The bus was owned by the Bellville company. About 300km south of Harare, it was sheared in half after colliding with a stationary truck on the side of the road, belonging to the Zimbabwean military.

Flanders was severely injured in the accident and her left leg had to be amputated. She also injured her head, losing consciousness, and sustained bruises on her body.

She alleges that the accident was caused by the negligence of the bus driver, Tulani Winston Sibeni, in that he failed to apply brakes timeously, travelled at an excessive speed and failed to exercise proper control over his vehicle.

Flanders claims that Sibeni acted within the course and scope of his employment with Trans Zambezi Express.

Flanders is claiming R650 000, plus an additional £626 000 in damages from Trans Zambezi Express and Sibeni.

But the bus company and Sibeni have denied negligence, saying that the military was negligent. They alleged in court papers that the truck caused an obstruction on the road surface and that the military should have taken steps to warn other road users. - Mercury Foreign Service

sign up