051110. Polokwane in Limpopo Province. Limpopo Premier Cassel Mathale arrives for The Limpopo Provincial Government Budget Lekgotla that took place on 04 and 05 November 2010. Picture: Dumisani Sibeko

Limpopo - Death has robbed Limpopo and the soccer fraternity of great talent, premier Cassel Mathale said on Monday.

“Once again death has robbed us of talented players whose best days were yet to come. May their souls rest in peace,” Mathale said in a statement.

Four soccer players were killed on Sunday night when their minibus collided with a bakkie along the R71 road near Polokwane. The taxi, carrying 25 members of the Polokwane City football club, was travelling from Oscar Mphetha stadium, where they had played their National First Division match against FC AK.

The taxi landed on its side in the path of oncoming traffic, where a bus carrying members of the Zion Christian Church crashed into it.

Bafana Bafana assistant coach Thomas Madigage, also from Limpopo, died in a car crash near Burgersfort last month.

The province had lost considerable talent due to vehicle accidents, said Mathale.

“We should remember to be cautious on the road, making sure that we obey the rules of the road and that we are respectful to each other as road users.”

Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula said the death of the footballers was a blow for sport in South Africa.

“I want to extend my sincere and heartfelt condolences to the family of the deceased footballers and the Polokwane City Football Club and wish them strength in these trying times.

“To those players and staff who got injured, I wish them a swift and successful recovery.” - Sapa