The Presidency has called on law enforcement authorities to swiftly investigate the exact cause of the deadly crash which claimed the lives of 18 school children and two adults in Bronkhorstspruit, outside Pretoria
A mini bus taxi collided with a truck on the Groblersdaal Road and burst into flames on Friday.
President Jacob Zuma has described the crash as a sad and painful tragedy which comes at a time when the country is still coming to terms with the high Easter road death toll.
Zuma has appealed to authorities to work around the clock to get to the bottom of what caused the horrific crash.
The Presidency’s Bongani Nqgulunga says, “The President has also called on law enforcement authorities to swiftly investigate the cause of this horrific road accident.”
He says the president sends his condolences to the families of those who lost their lives.
“President Jacob Zuma has expressed his sadness and shock on the passing on the school learners.”
At the same time, Zuma has called on road users to be extra vigilant on the roads.
Ngqulunga says, “He has also called on all road users in the country to be more vigilant and to adhere to the rules of the road and take safety precautions seriously to avoid unnecessary loss of lives.”
Parliament has also reacted, describing the loss of so many children as a national tragedy.
BASIC EDU MINISTER TO VISIT FAMILIES
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga will today visit the families of the 18 pupils who were killed in the Bronkhorstspruit minibus taxi crash.
The minister will be accompanied by Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi before attending a meeting later, to determine how they can assist the families.
The families are mainly located in Verena Village in Mpumalanga.
The department’s Elijah Mhlanga says, “The Minister will be visiting, firstly, the family who lost three of the children, and after that she will visit other families as because she feels she needs to be there to support them and also offer them whatever support they may need as the department.”
Meanwhile, a committee has been set up by both the Gauteng and Mpumalanga government to support the families of the school children killed the horrific accident.
A meeting was held between government and the families on Saturday where it was decided the identification of the bodies would take place on Monday, 24 April.
The Gauteng Education Department’s Steve Mabona said: “We cannot just go there. There’s a process that needs to happen.
“There’s confirmation that the process (identification of bodies) will start on Monday. We need to decide with the families how this will happen.”
(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)