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Wolmaransstad – Hundreds of Wolmaransstad residents braved Saturday’s cold, wintry weather to pay their respect to 12 people – 10 women and two men – who died in a head-on collision between a minibus taxi and an SUV on the R505 between Ottosdal and Wolmaransstad on April 8.

The mass funeral was held at Tswelelang township in Wolmaransstad, North West premier Supra Mahumapelo’s office said in a statement.

Mahumapelo, community safety and transport management MEC Mpho Motlhabane, and Lekwa-Teemane local municipality mayor Noni Kgabi were among those attending the funeral, the statement said.

In conveying the provincial government’s condolences to the families of the dead, Mahumapelo said while the final report on what caused the accident was yet to be released, the provincial government was grateful for the patience and co-operation shown by the affected families during the time of forensic investigations.

“We know that the past six weeks have been extremely difficult for everyone. But because of the severity of this accident which left all 12 victims burnt beyond recognition we had to do thorough forensic work before confirming the results,” he said.

The provincial government continued to provide support, such as trauma counselling, to the affected families, especially the only two survivors of the accident – a mother and her nine-year-old son.

Urging road users to exercise extra caution and patience on the road, Mahumapelo said while the provincial government had a responsibility to ensure that its road infrastructure was maintained and safe for use it also remained each road user’s responsibility to obey the rules of the road.

The victims of the accident were all members of the Zion Christian Church. The drivers of both vehicles also died in the crash, the statement said.