Cape Town has been rocked by yet another horrific road tragedy after five children were killed in an accident while travelling on the back of a bakkie.
The crash happened between the Brackenfell Boulevard and R300 roads in Brackenfell on Sunday at 11.30pm, when the driver allegedly lost control of a Ford Bantam bakkie and smashed into the barrier.
Of the 11 people in the vehicle, five children aged between 1 and 10, and one adult, were killed, while three other people were injured.
The victims have not been identified yet.
Police spokesperson FC van Wyk confirmed that the occupants were travelling from Ceres to Dunoon when the accident took place.
“According to reports, a Ford Bantam LDV was travelling on the N1 direction Cape Town from the Koue Bokkeveld to Dunoon when the vehicle made an accident,” he said.
“Eleven people were in the LDV, and five people passed away on the scene.”
Megan Davids from the Department of Health and Wellness said emergency services responded to the scene just before midnight.
“EMS responded to this incident at 11.58pm on July 9, where sadly five people lost their lives, including five children on the N1 near Brackenfell,” she said.
“Three persons sustained injuries and were transported to Tygerberg Hospital. We send our condolences to all families who lost their loved ones.”
Meanwhile, Van Wyk confirmed that an arrest had been made and a case of culpable homicide was being investigated.
“An adult male was arrested and will appear in court once charged. Circumstances surrounding this accident are under investigation. Investigations continue,” he added.
It is not clear whether the person arrested was the driver of the bakkie.
This was the second fatal accident involving minors in the past three months. Five children from Khayelitsha were killed in May when their scholar transport bakkie rolled multiple times and hit a traffic light along AZ Berman Drive in Mitchells Plain. A sixth pupil was admitted to hospital but died last week.
The driver, Mninikhaya Mvuli, 56, was arrested and faces five charges of culpable homicide and reckless driving. According to a source, Mvuli allegedly lost control of the bakkie before slamming into a tree and a robot, causing the canopy of the bakkie to shatter.
Member of the executive committee (MEC) for Mobility in the Western Cape, Ricardo MacKenzie, expressed his sadness following the latest accident.
“I’m sad that we once again lost little angels in a bakkie crash,” he said. “These children still had a bright future ahead of them. The cause of the crash is unknown at this stage and authorities are investigating.”
“I urge everyone using our roads to be extra vigilant. Please do not speed, stop and rest when tired, and do not use a cellphone while driving.”