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Johannesburg - Cosatu in North West expressed sadness on Tuesday at the deaths of five correctional services officers and a policeman in an accident near Rooigrond prison.

“We would like to convey a message of condolence to their families and to our union Popcru which have lost members,” Congress of SA Trade Unions provincial secretary Solly Phetoe said.

A car carrying five correctional services officials collided head-on with a police car on the R501, near Mahikeng, on Monday.

The five and the officer driving the police car were killed.

Phetoe said the road had claimed many lives.

“Cosatu has several times questioned the state of the roads in the province, but our call has fallen on deaf ears.”

The trade union federation called on the transport department to speed up road maintenance.

Justice and Correctional Services Minister Michael Masutha earlier described the accident as shocking.

“It has tragically cut short the lives of our correctional officials and a policeman, leaving their families grappling with this immense loss,” he said.

“We are left poorer as the criminal justice system as a whole, because these officials together had given decades of invaluable experience in delivering correctional and security services to our people.”