Rustenburg - Two learners were killed and 20 others injured in a bus accident in Groot Marico near Zeerust on Tuesday, North West department of education said.
Provincial education spokesperson Freddy Sepeng said the accident occurred in the morning.
"About 20 learners sustained minor injuries from the bus accident. They were taken to the local hospital for medical treatment and only one is still hospitalised whilst 19 learners were discharged on the same day.
"The two deceased learners were both boys aged between 18 years [in Grade 9] and 14 years old [Grade 8] and they attended school at Thutokemaatla Secondary School," Sepeng said.
Community safety and transport management MEC Mpho Motlhabane called all the learner transport operators to "talk strongly" to their drivers to always ensure that they take great care with the safety of learners.
This followed reports that the bus driver had stopped the bus on the side of the road and left the engine running while he chased after a hitch-hiker who did not pay him R20.
The driver had allegedly pick-up the hitch-hiker, who had promised to pay R20 for the trip but, when the bus stopped, he ran out without paying and the driver chased him to recover the fare.
While the driver was chasing the hitch hiker, the bus rolled and fell on its side.
African News Agency (ANA)