By line: Andani Matumba

17 February 2022

The number of deceased learners who died following the crash on the D267 Road between Dundonald and Mayflower yesterday, 16 February 2022, has now risen.

Following a search operation by the police and other stakeholders at the accident scene, the ninth body was discovered this morning.

It is believed that the body fell in the river upon impact and it was trapped in between rocks.

Yesterday eight learners lost their lives in the crash. Seven learners perished at the scene while the eighth person passed on at the hospital.

Ten passengers sustained moderate to serious injuries and they are currently receiving treatment in hospital.

The crash occurred yesterday after the minibus that was transporting learners from school overturned on the same road.

The driver of the minibus has since been arrested and charged with nine counts of culpable homicide, failure to produce an operating license, overloading and operating a vehicle that is not roadworthy, among others.

The victims are aged between five and 13 years of age.

He is expected to appear in the Elukwatini Magistrate’s Court on Friday, 18 February 2021.

Mpumalanga MEC for Community Safety, Security and Liaison, Vusi Shongwe, earlier today visited the scene of the crash where found scores of community members who were part of the team that ultimately discovered the body of the ninth victim.

A delegation from the Department of Education, Social Development visited the affected to facilitate psychosocial support to affected learners and educators.

Shongwe calls for intensified psychosocial support to the affected and learners from the affected schools.

“A task team will be set up to work with the bereaved families in finalizing funeral arrangements”, added Shongwe.