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Look: 25 killed in KZN crashes over the long weekend

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Durban – A total of 25 people were killed in road accidents over the long weekend in KwaZulu Natal according to KZN Dept of Health Emergency Medical Services.

KWAZULU-Natal Health MEC Ms Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu paid tribute to all of the Department’s forensic pathology and emergency medical services staff for carrying out their national duty with aplomb, following a spate of fatal road crashes over the weekend. She has also voiced her disquiet about the filming and distribution of video footage of a burning minibus taxi with terrified passengers inside.

The latest information from the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health’s Emergency Medical Services is that between 09 – 11 August 2019, a staggering 25 motor vehicle crashes took place, which resulted in 25 fatalities. A further 24 people sustained critical injuries, while 32 were seriously injured, and 86 got away with minor injuries. Six of these crashes took place on national routes.

Among the serious road incidents that took place in KZN since Friday have been the:

  • Demise of six young Zulu maidens who were traveling in a Toyota Quantum from Pomeroy to attend a pre-annual royal reed dance event in Durban on Saturday afternoon. It is alleged that the driver lost control of the vehicle and crashed and burst into flames. Nine other occupants of the vehicle escaped with serious to minor injuries;
  • A crash in Folweni between a minibus taxi and a light motor vehicle on Sunday morning, which claimed five lives, and left 17 people injured;
  • A bus which overturned in the Lousberg area on Sunday night, which claimed the lives of six people, and left 9 critically injured, 16 with serious injuries, and 58 with minor scratches.

“While we send our deepest condolences to families who lost their loved ones, and wish the injured a speedy and full recovery, we would be failing in our duty if we did not recognise the sterling efforts of our forensic pathology and emergency medical services staff. They have really had their hands full over the past few days, yet the manner in which they have responded has been superb, said MEC Simelane-Zulu.

“We appreciate the work that that they’ve done, and we want to say to them they must keep it up, because their response time, and the kind of work that they do is really being seen.

“We understand that there’ve been a number of challenges, particularly in the Forensic Pathology Services unit, at Magwaza Maphalala (Gale Street) Medico-Legal Mortuary in particular, along the lines of a go-slow. The Department is working to resolve those challenges. The Head of Department, with other senior managers, went there and assessed the facility and the environment, and is working on the solutions.

“As we join the Department of Transport in encouraging South Africans to adhere to the rules of the road and always keep their vehicles in a roadworthy condition, we thank our staff for working diligently in attending to these crashes and other eventualities.”

MEC Simelane-Zulu also called on the public to respect the privacy and sanctity of people in situations of distress, and desist from filming them and distributing footage.

“In the case of the incident in Pomeroy, we heard disturbing and harrowing reports that a video of people inside the burning taxi was filmed and distributed. That is the height of insensitivity, which leaves relatives of the deceased with emotional scars that could lead to long-term mental challenges – which is grossly unfair, and has a direct impact on us the Department of Health. Not so long ago, we had an incident in which a young woman was filmed giving birth (without her consent), having arrived late at one of our clinics. Fortunately, our healthcare workers were able to attend to her and save hers and her baby’s lives. Such incidents of unauthorized filming are really uncalled for and we would like every person who films and distributes such footage without consent to ask themselves this question: how would you I feel if it was me or my loved one being taken advantage of like that?” he said.

folweni crash

Five people died after their taxi crashed head on with another vehicle. Pic Supplied

pomeroy fatal crash

Six young Zulu maidens who were traveling in a Toyota Quantum from Pomeroy died after it crashed. Pic. ER 24

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N2 Kei Cuttings bus accident leaves 27 dead

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At least 27 people have been killed in a bus accident on the N2 at Kei Cuttings between East London and Butterworth in the Eastern Cape on Monday afternoon.

The death toll has been revised from earlier reports which indicated that 10 people have died.

Eastern Cape transport department spokesperson, Unathi Binqose, says the number of the deaths could increase as more people were still trapped inside the wrecked bus.

A large number of search and rescue personnel, traffic officers, firefighters and paramedics are on the scene.

Binqose said the death toll is likely to increase as search and rescue personnel plan to flip the bus over to see whether more people are trapped underneath.

The accident took place on the notorious section of the N2, known as the Kei Cuttings, north of the Kei River, which is known for its perilous twists and turns.

Binqose said the driver of the bus is among those who died.

The driver is believed to have lost control of the long-distance passenger bus before it plunged 200 metres down a steep embankment.

Read | 13 killed in KZN horror truck and minibus taxi crash

“He lost control just before he could cross the river on the last curve,” said Binqose.

Chief director of clinical support services for the health department, Kidwell Matshotyana, told TellitallSA that 22 people were stable and did not want to go to hospital.

“In terms of the injured people, we have five patients admitted at Frere Hospital and one at Life St Dominic’s Private Hospital [both in East London],” he said.

The department will arrange transport for the 22 people, who don’t want to go to hospital, to the nearest town. They will be given accommodation.

The bus is understood to have been transporting passengers from Cape Town.

Hospitals and emergency services in the area and further afield were offering help with triaging patients.

He said the police had the grim task of going through the luggage to find identity documents, in order to begin informing the next of kin of the tragedy.

The department would also work with the bus company to establish a contact centre for worried families checking up on people who were on the bus, and those details would be announced later.

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Skeem Saam’s Koko Mantsha death dismissed as fake news

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Koko Mantsha, the popular Skeem Saam character acto, real name, Lydia Mokgokoloshi is not dead.

Social media is awash with news of her death which seems to have been fuelled by fake news sites aiming to profit from unsuspecting lovers of the 80 year-old veteran actress.

Lydia Mokgokoloshi, has appeared in many television shows including Muvhango and Bophelo ke semphego.

Mokgokoloshi was born on 27 September 1939, in Polokwane, Polokwane Local Municipality, Capricorn District Municipality, Limpopo.

She is most famous for acting as Koko Mantsha the grandmother of Katlego Pietersen (Patrick Seleka) in the soap, Skeem Saam.

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Watch: Thulani Dlomo an alleged ‘Zuma spy’, hands himself in

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Thulani Dlomo, the axed former SSA top spy and former SA ambassador to Japan has handed himself over to police on Friday.

Dlomo’s lawyer Philani Shangase said that he handed himself over at his own will at the Durban Central Police station on Friday.

He said Dlomo was not arrested but wanted to clear his name following media reports.

Dlomo was being interviewed by police officers at 17h00 on Friday.

“He has denied all wrong doing,” Shangase said.

Dlomo was suspected to be one of the instigators of the unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

This is a developing story.

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