File Picture: Bongiwe Mchunu.
The process of identifying loved ones was still unfolding on Monday following a head-on collision between a bus and a Quantum taxi on the R81 road in Limpopo.

Twenty-four people died and three others sustained injuries in the accident, believed to have happened at about 10pm between Mooketsi and Giyani on Sunday.

According to police, the bus was travelling from Giyani towards Mooketsi and the Quantum was going from Mooketsi towards Giyani when the two collided.

“During this crash, 24 passengers in the Quantum died instantly and one sustained serious injuries, and he was taken to the hospital for medical treatment.

“In the bus, the driver and two passengers sustained serious injuries and they were also transported to the hospital for medical treatment. The process of identifying the deceased is still unfolding,” Limpopo police’s Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe said.

He confirmed that a case of culpable homicide had been opened and that the cause of the collision is a being investigated.

Acting Limpopo police commissioner Major-General Jan Scheepers said he was “saddened by the loss of so many people” but assured members of the community that the police would leave no stone unturned to uncover the main cause of this fatal crash in one of the “bloodiest weekends”.

“The RTMC and the police will be investigating allegations that the minibus was overloaded with 10 people when the collision happened,” said RTMC chief executive Makhosini Msibi.

He said: “This was the bloodiest weekend we have experienced and it again points to recklessness and negligence by drivers.”

Also in Limpopo, six people were burnt beyond recognition after two vehicles collided head-on and burst into flames near Dingamazi village, between Giyani and Polokwane, in the early hours of Sunday morning.

In another accident, two people were killed and about 80 others were injured in a collision involving a bus, a bakkie and an SUV on the R71 between Letsitele and Gravelotte, also in Limpopo.

Transport spokesperson Ayanda Allie Paine said the crashes were devastating: “What was meant to be a joyous long weekend has been marred by road crashes, where far too many lives have been lost.”