Memorial service for eight victims killed in Melkbos taxi crash
Share this article:
Cape Town - There were emotional scenes at a memorial service in Dunoon on Wednesday, as the community joined the families of eight people who died in an accident involving a minibus taxi and a truck in Melkbosstrand last week.
SA National Civic Organisation (Sanco) area chairperson Sinethemba Matomela said they organised the service to show support and offer their condolences to the families.
Police spokesperson FC van Wyk said there were 15 passengers in the taxi, and the truck had only the driver.
Van Wyk said six passengers in the taxi and the truck driver died at the scene, while another taxi passenger died in an ambulance on the way to hospital.
He said nine people were taken to four different hospitals.
"Two patients, including the taxi driver, were discharged, and seven are still in hospital."
"The warning statement of the taxi driver was obtained and filed in the case docket, and no one has been charged yet," said Van Wyk said. He added that investigations were continuing
Elizabeth Sibanda, whose brother Alfred Chidala died in accident, said he had been was on his way to work.
Sibanda pleaded with the government to assist and organise permits for them so that they could travel to Malawi to bury their brother.
Bright Kasolota, whose wife Patricia Kasolota also died in the accident, said her death came as a shock to the family.
"It is really terrible, no one expected it. After the accident we were hoping to at least be told she was in hospital, but unfortunately she died on the spot," said Kasolota.
Dunoon taxi rank manager Bonile Dubase said that as the Dunoon Taxi Association (DTA) they regretted to hear about the incident.
"A taxi was not made to kill people, it was made to carry people from point A to B, and yes, the accident was not planned, but the drivers must not be reckless on the road," said Dubase.
Dunoon ward councillor Lubabalo Makeleni said the taxi association must be hard on its drivers, and make sure that it hired drivers with licences who showed respect, good behaviour and were orderly.
Makeleni said taxi bosses should give their phone numbers to passengers, so that they could report any wrongdoing by drivers.
"Most of the time people are afraid to confront drivers because of their behaviour."
Transport and Public Works MEC Daylin Mitchell said that during the week June 7-13, provincial traffic services recorded at least 23 crashes, and 29 fatalities.