Two bus victims still unidentified

Eight people lost their lives in the tragic accident that occurred on Monday 3 July on the N8 near Mandela View, Bloemfontein.

While six families of the horrific N8 bus crash that happened on Monday are preparing to bury their loved ones, two of the eight that died are yet to be identified. The Free State Department of Health has released the names of six people who died in the crash. Departmental spokesperson, Mondli Mvambi, said, “The families of Nophatheka Sinah Motaung (50), Mpolai Paulina Ralekholela (56), Hlekiwe Julieana Msuthu (48), and Seanokeng Rosa Lefu (61) have already been informed about their passing.”

He said this is also the case with Khahane Shaduck(41) and Maletesane Masunyane (57), who passed on later the same day at the Pelonomi Hospital. They are both from Botshabelo and a post-mortem will be conducted on Thursday.

“While we managed to track the families of these mentioned, we remain with the challenge that there are two female bodies that still need to be identified.” Mvambi said. On Wednesday afternoon he appealed to the Mangaung community, particularly those in Botshabelo, to visit the Government Mortuary in Bloemfontein to identify their family members.

Mvambi said among those still recovering from the incident are eight patients at the Pelonomi Hospital. “Four of these patients have been admitted to the trauma unit, while one is in the orthopedic unit and another in the high care unit. They are in a critical but stable condition.”

Meanwhile, Interstate Bus Lines (IBL) confirmed in a statement issued on Monday that they would cover the funeral costs of the deceased through their insurance policies, while those injured will be assisted through the Road Accident Fund. Public relations officer for IBL, Thando Lepele said, “We are also looking into the incident. We have taken the bus driver to a doctor for medical assessment and following this, we will be conducting our own internal investigations and procedures to establish what the driver’s role in the accident was.”

The Free State Department Police, Roads and Transport’s Kabelo Moloabi said as the N8 road was reconstructed last year, he believes that the road condition was not a factor in the cause of the accident but rather that the attitude of one of the drivers involved in the collision. “There are many rumours and speculations about what happened in this accident. However, in my experience, most accidents caused in South Africa are caused by poor driver attitude. The question we are struggling to now answer – we are still trying to ascertain whether or not the driver of the stationary truck had placed the relevant signage for oncoming traffic to see – is, if he did the place any signage, why then did this accident happen?” Moloabi quizzed.

Police spokesperson, Peter Kareli, said that a case of culpable homicide has been opened and investigations into what caused the accident are underway. Pulane Choane & Mark Steenbok