Mbalula lectures Limpopo traffic cops on bribery after deadly weekend on roads

Limpopo accident. Picture: SAPS

Limpopo accident. Picture: SAPS

‘Imagine if you take cold drink (a bribe) from a drunk motorist and he later kills people. So many families are going to die because of a mere R30,’ he said.

More charges could be added to the list against those responsible for the fatal accident that claimed the lives of 24 people on the R81 road between Giyani and Mooketsi in Limpopo on Sunday.

Police are investigating a case of culpable homicide, but further charges could be added pending the outcome of investigations.

Yesterday Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula spent the better part of the day in Limpopo addressing traffic officers and senior government officials about the escalating accidents in Limpopo.

At least 45 people lost their lives in 11 fatal crashes on the province’s roads at the weekend.

On Sunday evening 24 people died after a bus and an overloaded minibus taxi collided head-on on the R81 near Maphalle village in the Mopani District.

Earlier that day, six people were burnt beyond recognition after the vehicles in which they were traveling collided and burst into flames near Dingamazi village.

On Saturday, two people were killed and around 80 others were injured in a collision involving a bus, a bakkie and an SUV on the R71 between Letsitele and Gravelotte.

Mbalula addressed bereaved families whose children were killed in the R81 accident, as well as politicians and community members. He also visited the Kgapane Hospital in Bolobedu where some of the victims of the accident where hospitalised.

Addressing the traffic officers in Polokwane, the minister said some of the recent accidents were avoidable.

He said it was unprofessional, unbecoming, disappointing and criminal for traffic officers to take bribes from motorists and that if not urgently tackled, the practice could give rise to more deaths.

“Imagine if you take cold drink (a bribe) from a drunk motorist and he later kills people. So many families are going to die because of a mere R30,” he said.

Tokollo Janet Makola, who lost three children in the R81 accident, said the accident was like a sharp instrument in her heart.

“It felt like I was in a dream. But now that the minister is here, I realise it is a reality,” said the tearful Makola. “They did no deserve to die at a young age like that.”

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