Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

Call for probe into tourist bus crash

KwaZulu-Natal transport MEC S’bu Ndebele on Thursday called for an independent investigation into an accident on the Harrismith-Bergville road in which eight British tourists died.

Ndebele also sent his condolences to the families bereaved by the accident, which took place at 4pm on New Year’s Eve.

Of the investigation he said: ”I have asked for an independent investigation and representatives from the Road Traffic Inspectorate in Pietermaritzburg have been dispatched to the scene of the accident.”

The tour vehicle, Mercedes Benz Sprinter, would also be tested and interviews conducted to establish weather conditions at the time of the accident, and speed.

Ndebele was in contact with Britain’s Acting High Commissioner to South Africa, Andy Sparkes, who travelled to Ladysmith on Thursday to lend support to the two British survivors.

The other survivors were a Canadian, the South African minibus driver and a South African tour guide.

Ndebele said initial investigations had established that pedestrian Pelepele Miya was walking across the R74 between Bergville and Harrismith — which includes the windy and steep Oliviershoek Pass — when the tour bus crashed into him, overturned and left the road.

Six passengers died on the scene and two others died at the Ladysmith Provincial Hospital. Four others, including the driver and the guide, were in a stable condition.

Britain’s Press Association identified some of the victims as Roger and Linda Pearce, a married couple from Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire; Neil Pike and Christine Rowe, a couple from Preston, Lancashire; Anthony Egan from Surbiton, Surrey; and Thomas Harris from Cardiff, Wales.

The names of the other victims were being withheld pending notification of their families.

According to the National Road Traffic Act, the driver of a vehicle conveying passengers has to have a professional driving permit and be 21 years of age.

The tourists, some couples, some individuals, were travelling together as a group and came from different parts of the United Kingdom.

British High Commission spokesperson Nick Shepperd said the tourists were on their way to the Royal Natal National Park, in the Drakensberg, to camp.

He said individual arrangements would be made for the survivors to return home to the UK, and that some had relatives travelling out to South Africa to join them. – Sapa

Subscribe for R500/year

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and get a 57% discount in your first year.

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Subscribers only

Coko vs S ruling: The case against a subjective test...

Acting judge Tembeka Ngcukaitobi’s acquittal of a rape suspect has raised controversy, but legal experts say the fault lay with legislators and not the court

DA’s egregious sexual harassment case finally begins

The party is accused of protecting a councillor, who’s also implicated in R1.2m graft

More top stories

Lucas Radebe: ‘My football career began behind my parents’ back’

Soccer legend Lucas ‘Rhoo’ Radebe is a busy man, but he made time in his hectic schedule to speak to Ntombizodwa Makhoba about his fondest childhood memories, how his soccer career began, and, as a father of eight, his legacy

Coko vs S ruling: The case against a subjective test...

Acting judge Tembeka Ngcukaitobi’s acquittal of a rape suspect has raised controversy, but legal experts say the fault lay with legislators and not the court

Defend journalists and media freedom in Eswatini

Journalists are censored through cruel and illegitimate detention, torture and the removal of means to disseminate information to citizens crying – and dying – for it

It’s safe to open the beaches, says UPL after chemical...

Agrochemical producer UPL said it has paid R250-million in chemical spill clean-up
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×