Mashudu Netsianda, Senior Reporter
TWELVE Zimbabweans are said to have died when a Polokwane-bound kombi they were travelling in collided with a truck and caught fire near Botlokwa village along the N1 North highway.
The kombi was travelling from Musina and heading for Polokwane while the truck was going the opposite direction.
Three of the victims were burnt beyond recognition,
Limpopo police spokesperson, Lieutenant Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe said the accident occurred on Thursday night at around 8.30PM near Botlokwa village outside Polokwane.
He said 11 people “suspected” to be Zimbabweans died on the spot while one died later died at Polokwane hospital. The three survivors were taken to Polokwane Provincial Hospital.
“Twelve people were killed in a culpable homicide case which occurred along the N1 North near Botlokwa village. The driver of the kombi hit a stray donkey resulting in him losing control of the vehicle and it subsequently collided with a truck which was travelling from Polokwane to Makhado. One of the victims later died this morning (yesterday) while admitted to Polokwane Provincial Hospital,” said Lt Col Ngoepe.
He said they were still conducting forensic investigations to determine the identities of the victims.
“We are in the process of trying to establish the identities of the victims through our forensic investigations.
“We however suspect the accident victims could be all Zimbabweans. Anyone who can assist us on the identification of the deceased persons may visit Botlokwa Police Station or alternatively contact us on +2715-2301001-4 or +27823043686,” said Lt Col Ngoepe.
The N1 highway is one of the busiest roads which links South Africa with Sadc countries such as Malawi, DRC, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The road has become a death trap with about 40 people including Zimbabweans and Malawians dying in accidents in the last 10 months.
In September, six Zimbabweans were among eight people who were killed when a Bulawayo-bound Toyota Quantum they were travelling in collided with a private vehicle along the same road.
The quantum was travelling from Hillbrow in Johannesburg heading for Bulawayo while the smaller car was travelling to Makhado town.
Early this year, four Malawians among them a toddler were killed and 16 others were injured when a bus they were travelling in was involved in accident, 8km outside Makhado town in Limpopo province. The bus was travelling from Johannesburg to Malawi via Zimbabwe.— @mashnets.