PRESIDENT, South African President Jacob Zuma has directed the law enforcement authorities to swiftly investigate the cause of the accident which resulted in the deaths of 19 school pupils in Bronkhorstspruit, outside Pretoria.
The school children, who attended Refano Primary School and Mahlenga High School, perished when the minibus taxi they were travelling in collided head-on with a truck and caught fire on the R25 road between Verena and Bronkhorstpruit on Friday. Several children were burnt beyond recognition in the fire.
Seven children survived the accident and have been taken to various hospitals. Three are said to be in a critical condition.
This is a sad and painful tragedy, taking place just when the country is coming to terms with a number of lives that have been lost during the Easter weekend. On behalf of the government and all South Africans we extend our heartfelt condolences to families of the leaners, relatives and friends, President Zuma said.
The president also called on all road users in the country to be more vigilant and adhere to the road rules and take safety precautions seriously to avoid unnecessary loss of life, the President Zuma said.
Meanwhile, Parliament has also expressed its condolences to the families of the pupils and described the incident the most heart-breaking and traumatic moments in our country.
Parliament said the accident added to the increasing number of fatalities on South African roads during April. Preliminary road accident statistics for the Easter period show a 51 per cent increase in road deaths, with the number reaching 235 lives lost.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK