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Two separate accidents in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng have claimed the lives of three teachers and two school children.
In KwaZulu-Natal, three teachers were killed on the N11 highway near Newcastle in KwaZulu-Natal when the Toyota Venture they were travelling in was struck by a truck on Thursday morning.
KwaZulu-Natal Road Traffic Inspectorate Colin Govender said the driver of a truck carrying maize lost control of the vehicle on the Amajuba Pass north of Newcastle and veered into the oncoming Toyota Venture.
The seven people in the Venture were teachers from Newcastle who were on their way to an "educational meeting" in Volksrust.
Netcare 911 spokesperson Chris Botha said three women passengers were killed instantly and that the four others were taken to hospital.
Govender said the lorry, which was on its way to Vryheid from Standerton, would be impounded and three cases of culpable homicide were being investigated.
The lorry driver was uninjured.
KwaZulu-Natal education spokesperson Christi Naude "It's terrible. We send our condolences to the families."
She said the three teachers taught at three separate schools in Volksrust in Mpumalanga province, but lived in Newcastle. They commuted every day to Volksrust.
In July this year seven people were killed in the Amajuba pass in another collision between a truck and a minibus taxi.
The Amajuba pass is 30 kilometres north of Newcastle on the road to Volksrust in Mpumalanga.
Meanwhile, on Gauteng's East Rand, two Thembisa school children were killed and 19 others were injured when two taxis collided on Thursday morning, Ekurhuleni metro police said.
"A red minibus was transporting 21 children to Bonero Park Primary School, when a white minibus that didn't have right of way collided with the red minibus," said metro spokesperson Inspector Mzeli Nhlapo.
The accident happened at the intersection of P51 and Phomolong Road in Thembisa at 7.20am.
Two of the children, believed to be about seven and 13, died on the scene and the others were taken to Thembisa Hospital with broken legs, hips and serious head injuries, said Nhlapo.
The driver of the red taxi was trapped inside the vehicle and jaws of life had to be used to remove him from the wreck.
The driver of the white taxi also sustained serious injuries.
Police have opened a case of reckless and negligent driving as well as culpable homicide at the Norkem police station against the driver of the white taxi.
No arrests have been made. - Sapa