Eleven people were killed and 59 were injured when a bus carrying ANC members overturned on the N1 between Winburg and Ventersburg in the Free State on Sunday. Picture: Netcare 911

Johannesburg - Ekurhuleni mayor Mondli Gungubele has expressed shock at the accident in which 11 African National Congress members died and 59 were injured when the bus they were travelling in left the road and rolled several times on the N1 between Ventersburg and Winburg in the Free State on Sunday morning.

The bus was carrying ANC members home to Ekurhuleni in Gauteng after they had attended the launch of the ANC’s August 3 local government elections manifesto in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.

“There is no way to describe how I feel right now. These comrades were with us yesterday [Saturday] as we launched our manifesto and today [Sunday] they are no more. May their souls rest in peace. The loss of one life is a disaster enough. This is a devastation,” Gungubele said in a statement.

He had sent a team of senior emergency and disaster officials led by the city’s COO to Ventersburg to determine whether there was anything they could do to help.

“The information I have right now is that at least 10 people perished and that there were 59 survivors at different hospitals in the Free State. Now we have a responsibility to ensure that everyone gets home hence we have set up a disaster joint operation centre to ensure that as and when we are called into action we are ready,” he said.

Gungubele extended condolences to the families of the dead and wished the survivors a speedy recovery.

The ANC Women’s League also expressed great sadness at the tragic accident that involved ANC Ekurhuleni volunteers, believed to be from ward 60.

“This is indeed a sad day for all the structures of the ANC and the community of Ekurhuleni. Our heartfelt condolences go out to families of the deceased and those injured,” the league said in a statement.

“As the ANCWL we call on communities where the victims reside to give support and assistance to the families of victims. We urge the South African community [to] keep these families in their prayers. May their souls rest in peace and we wish those injured a speedy recovery,” the league said.

Democratic Alliance national spokesman Refiloe Nt’sekhe extended the DA’s heartfelt condolences to the families, friends and loved ones of those who died in the crash.

It was believed that the driver lost control of the bus, Nt’sekhe said.

“We would also like to extend our prayers to those injured and wish them a speedy recovery, as well as to the ANC during this difficult time. We encourage the SA Police Service to investigate the matter speedily in order to ensure closure for the families of those who lost their lives,” Nt’sekhe said.

– African News Agency