Cape Town - It was a dark weekend on South African roads as Mpumalanga authorities confirmed on Monday that 14 people had died in six separate crashes in the province at the weekend.
This comes after President Jacob Zuma had earlier sent out condolences to the families of 26 others who had died in road accidents near in KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo over the weekend.
A statement released by the Community Safety, Security and Liaison of Mpumalanga said: "One major crash claimed six lives yesterday (Sunday) at about 18:30 on the R38 Road between Carolina and Hendrina."
A sedan that was travelling from the direction of Carolina, towards Hendrina, crashed on the Vaal River Bridge and landed on the river embankment. The driver and four passengers died on the scene, while another passenger died in hospital. A seriously injured passenger was taken to Carolina Hospital and was later transferred to a Gauteng Hospital.
Three pupils died last Friday at about 7:30am, when two bakkies, a Ford Ranger and a Nissan, collided head-on the D1682 road near Denmark in the Standerton area.
The driver and two passengers in the Nissan bakkie died on scene, while the driver and two passengers of the Ford Ranger sustained serious injuries. It was later discovered that the Nissan bakkie was driven by a pupil who did not possess a driver's license.
On the same day, a passenger was killed after three vehicles, a taxi, a bakkie and a sedan, collided. The crash occurred on the N4 Road near Hectorspruit in Komatipoort at about 22:00. Two drivers and a passenger were transported to hospital with serious injuries.
On Saturday evening, at about 19:50, a pedestrian was hit and killed by an LDV on the R40 Road near Acornhoek, while another pedestrian was killed by a sedan on the R573 Moloto Road, near Zakheni, on Sunday.
In the early hours of Monday morning, around 2:25am, a driver and a passenger lost their lives after the vehicle they were travelling in lost control and overturned on the R536 Road towards Kruger Gate. Two other passengers sustained serious injuries.
Community Safety, Security and Liaison MEC, Pat Ngomane sent condolences to the families of the deceased and wished a speedy recovery to those who were injured. He pleaded with all road users to use the roads with caution.
"Drivers need to change their behavior on the road and towards other motorists as it has shown over the years that most crashes are as a result of reckless driving, speeding and negligence," said Ngomane.
He called on law enforcercement not to show mercy to any persons who disobeyed the rules of the road. He also called for harsher sentences to be given to reckless drivers in order to send a message to those who continue to break the law.