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Cape Town - The bodies of the 24 people killed in Friday’s horror bus crash were to be identified on Monday, as a preliminary investigation revealed that the bus had several certification problems.
Western Cape Transport and Public Works MEC Robin Carlisle ordered an investigation after the double-decker bus crashed on the Hex River Pass on Friday morning. Carlisle said the investigation would include addressing four main concerns:
* Was there a proper operating licence?
* Was the licence of the driver correct?
* Was the vehicle roadworthy?
* What was the safety history of the company that owned the bus, as well as that of the vehicle testing centre that tested the bus?
Carlisle said a preliminary investigation had established that the bus’s roadworthy certificate had not been renewed, as it ought to have been.
Second, the operating licence had been issued on December 25 - a day on which the Provincial Regulatory Entity’s offices had been closed.
Third, Carlisle said the previous, now-expired roadworthy certificate had involved equipment owned by another testing station, which had been closed down for fraud.
He was especially concerned about the roadworthiness process since he had recently been given an in-depth report by consultants in which they alleged widespread fraud at testing stations across the country.
The Provincial Regulatory Entity is to investigate the legal status of the bus.
Atlantic Charters and Tours’s legal representative Shaheid Schrueder told the Cape Argus on Sunday that he could not comment on the investigation while it was ongoing.
Schrueder said Friday’s crash was the first of its kind in the company’s history.
According to Schrueder, company records of the bus driver - killed in the crash - described him as a “very experienced driver”.
There were 80 passengers on the bus, most of them women members of the Twelve Apostles Church in Christ in Khayelitsha, returning from a national gathering in Secunda.
In total, 24 people were killed, 14 were seriously injured and 44 others sustained minor injuries after the crash.
This morning, families gathered at the Khayelitsha Site C Sports and Recreation Centre to leave for Worcester to identify the bodies.
Lindeka Zilindlovu, 33, said her cousin, Boniswa Kodwa, 34, had been on the bus.
Zilindlovu said her family had been unable to locate Kodwa in any of the hospitals.
“We heard she is in a coma and other people who were on the bus told us she died at the scene. We don’t know what to believe. We are nervous and thinking of the worst,” she said.