A ZIMBABWEAN couple and their minor children perished in a horrific road accident in South Africa last weekend which claimed eight lives, some of them burnt beyond recognition.
The crash occurred in Ladysmith, KwaZulu Natal, with one of the vehicles, a Porsche Cayenne, bursting into flames on impact. According to the police, all four occupants of the vehicle were burnt beyond recognition.
The husband and wife Zimbabwean couple and their two children aged 10 and five who were travelling in the other vehicle, a Toyota Fortuner, died at the scene of the accident.
SA Police spokesperson Nqobile Gwala said circumstances surrounding the tragedy were being investigated.
The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Transport is assisting the relatives of two families with the bereavement.
Traffic officials were working with police to establish the owner of the Porsche, as the car had no registration numbers.
Police identified the Zimbabwean family as: Tonderai Godfrey Sithole (38) – Driver, Faith Sithole – Wife (36), Shalom Sithole – Female (10), Shekinah Sithole – Female (5).
Transport, Community Safety and Liaison MEC Bheki Ntuli said he was saddened at the continued loss of life and extended his condolences to the families of the dead. He pledged the support of the department.
“I’m deeply saddened at the continued loss of lives. Losing an entire family in just one accident is such a great tragedy. In this particular accident we have lost two families,” he said.
“We once again extend our heartfelt condolences to the families of the deceased and our officials will continue supporting the families as the make arrangements to bury their loved ones.
“What is most worrying is that it seems as though motorists are not adhering to our road rules and speed limits, which in the main is leading to these accidents.”
Local councillor Zakhele Myende said the area where the accident occurred was notorious for speeding vehicles.
“We don’t often have such accidents, but are aware of the issue of cars speeding at the spot where the accident happened,” said Myende.
“There are a lot of trucks going in and out of Ladysmith towards Newcastle, and motorists often speed to try to overtake these trucks. We have reports that there are lots of speeding tickets issued on that part of the road.”