Durban — Amajuba District Municipality leadership led by the mayor Prince Ndabuko Zulu in the north-west of KwaZulu-Natal sent condolences to the 14 families who lost their loved ones in two separate accidents.
In a statement, the municipality said upon receiving the tragic news, the leadership of the Amajuba District Municipality visited the hospitals treating the survivors and also sent its deepest condolences to the families of those who had died.
The municipality said it was unfortunate that the accident happened in October which is Transport Month, when government officials in all spheres rolled up sleeves to advance road safety awareness.
“As we commence with the month of October, which is designated as ‘Transport Month’, a month used to advance road safety initiatives and raise awareness about the safety of drivers and passengers on South African roads, the Amajuba District Municipality and its affiliated municipalities woke up to the sad news of tragic accidents,” read the statement.
The one accident, where eight people died, occurred in Emadlangeni ward 4, in the area of Mbathani. It involved a truck that carried 54 individuals travelling from Groenvlei to the Ngomane area for a wedding.
According to the municipality and the KZN Transport Department, the truck was carrying people from a nearby farm when it “encountered brake failure, causing the passengers to fall out”.
Six people were declared dead at the scene and two died at the hospital, according to the department’s statement.
In the second accident, that happened in Dannhauser, it is alleged that a minibus taxi ferrying traditional healers lost control and overturned. Six people died, and scores sustained injuries and were taken to Madadeni Hospital. The number of dead rose to 14.
Reacting to the accidents, KZN MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison, Sipho Hlomuka, pleaded with motorists to respect traffic regulations and drive responsibly on the road.
He added that police were currently investigating 14 counts of culpable homicide, and reckless and negligent driving.
“These two accidents are totally unacceptable and clearly demonstrate negligence on the part of drivers and vehicle owners. Whilst we understand the plight of our people in farming areas, it is however disturbing that 54 people can be loaded in a truck. This may result in fatal accidents and loss of human life.
“Equally, in the Dannhauser incident there is a clear sign of traffic violation. The investigation in both these accidents is under way. As the provincial government, we wish to extend our deepest condolences to all the affected families who lost their loved ones,” said Hlomuka.
The municipality said the memorial service would be held on Thursday but full details would be communicated later.
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