The death toll after Sunday evening’s horrific bus accident between the Venetia mine and Musina in Limpopo now stands at 22, confirmed Tidimalo Chuene, spokesperson for the provincial department of transport and community safety, on Monday afternoon.
RNews earlier reported that the bus was transporting a group of miners associated with Murray & Roberts Cementation to the mine when it collided with a truck on the R572 about 25 km from the mine and caught fire.
According to Chuene, 20 people died at the scene. Two more people later died in a hospital. The bus involved in the accident belongs to Hope Diamond Transport.
“It is not yet clear at this stage what exactly caused the accident.
“Unfortunately, we also do not yet have names of the deceased, but the Venetia mine will later issue a full report on the accident,” said Chuene.
Clean-up work at the scene of the accident continued on Monday.
Stanley Mathabatha, Premier of Limpopo, meanwhile expressed deep condolences to the victims’ loved ones.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families affected by this horrific accident. We cannot even imagine the pain and sorrow you are experiencing at this time of loss. Please know that the entire province stands with you in solidarity and that we offer support, love and strength.
“To the survivors of this tragic incident, we send our heartfelt wishes for a speedy and complete recovery. We hope that you find comfort in knowing that you are not alone, and that the whole community is here to support you on the road to healing,” says Mathabatha.
The prime minister summoned Florence Radzilani, MEC for transport and community safety in the province, to the scene to collect detailed information about the accident and ensure that the provincial government takes all necessary steps after the accident.
Radzilani was accompanied by Vhembe Mayor Dowelani Nenguda, Musina Municipality Mayor Godfrey Mawela and Venetia Mine Executive Manager Ntokozo Ngema.
The Minerals Council of South Africa also regretted the incident.
“The council expresses its deepest condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of those killed and injured in the accident.
“The accident highlights the unacceptable number of deaths and injuries every year on South Africa’s roads.
“The safety of mine employees and contractors is of crucial importance to the Minerals Council and the mining industry. We therefore make ourselves available to assist Murray & Roberts and De Beers, who own the Venetia mine.”