Eastern Cape Premier Phumulo Masualle conveyed his condolences to the victims of two bus accidents which claimed the lives of 17 people. Picture: ANA

Port Elizabeth - Eastern Cape Premier Phumulo Masualle on Friday conveyed his condolences to the victims of two bus accidents which claimed the lives of a total of 17 people. 

Masualle also wished a speedy recovery to dozens more who were injured in the accidents.  

Two separate bus accidents on Eastern Cape roads killed at least 17 people and left scores injured on Wednesday.  

A Vaal Maseru bus which was on its way from Welkom to various Eastern Cape towns left 13 people dead and 42 injured after it overturned at Ngcobo.

Ten passengers, including the bus driver, were declared dead on the scene after the bus veered off the road and overturned in bushes a few metres from the main road, less than than a kilometre to the town of Ngcobo. Three more bodies were uncovered after the bus wreckage was removed.  

Late on Wednesday, a Translux bus was involved in an accident which left four passengers dead. The accident occurred on the N6 between Komani (Queenstown) and Jamestown. Scores of passengers were taken to hospital.  

"We convey our sincere condolences to the families of those who lost their lives in these tragic accidents," said Masualle. 

"Investigations must now move swiftly to get their causes, it cannot be that we have become desensitised to the senseless loss of life on our roads. Reckless and negligent drivers must be brought to book, freight and commuter business owners and operators must ensure their fleet are up to standard at all times or they must be held liable."  

Masaulle thanked to road and traffic law enforcement officers and police members who risked their lives and maintained a close watch and high visibility on the roads over Easter. 

"We urge the millions that will crisscrossing the roads of the Eastern Cape and South Africa during the Easter pilgrimage, and holiday, to exercise extreme care and vigilance while on the roads. 

"Those who must rest must rest, drinking and driving is always a no-no, and vehicle owners and operators have the responsibility to ensure their vehicles are roadworthy," he said. 

African News Agency/ANA