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The bodies of nine people from Tsholotsho, part of the 11 Zimbabweans who perished in an accident in Botswana on their way to South Africa about two weeks ago, were expected home in Tsholotsho late Wednesday for burial on Thursday at their respective homes.

Tsholotsho district administrator, Nosizi Dube said the other two bodies of people who were from Bulilima district had been repatriated on Tuesday and only those from Tsholotsho were on their way at the time of going to press.

"The bodies are on their way now; we expect them at the Plumtree Border Post at between 2000 and 2100hrs when they should be cleared. They will proceed to Tsholotsho overnight," she said.

A mass funeral service has been arranged for them although each will be buried at their respective homes, one after the other.

Dube said burials will start early and people wishing to attend should be at the village by 0830hrs.

"Their relatives have been gathered for the funerals for more than a week and want to bury their loved ones early (sic)," she said.

The deceased, eight of them relatives from Malila village in Tsholotsho, another one from a nearby village in the same district and the two from Bulilima district, died when their vehicle, a Ford Ranger, hit a donkey and crashed along a Botswana road leading to Martin’s Drift Road in South Africa.

They were all without travel documents enroute to South Africa illegally after successfully sneaking through both the Zimbabwe and Botswana borders.

Menson Ncube (35), Davison Sibanda (31), Eunice Moyo (24), Sharon Moyo (23), Liston Mlilo (29), Nozithelo Sibanda (22), Langelihle Phiri (24),  Boniter Ncube and Methuseli Sibanda, whose ages were unavailable, were all from Malila village in Tsholotsho.

The repatriation of the bodies had reportedly been delayed due to financial constraints.

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