Families gather to say their final goodbyes to Limpopo youths who perished in crash

Families gather around coffins of the deceased youths who perished in a tragic accident last weekend. Image: Letaba Herald

Families gather around coffins of the deceased youths who perished in a tragic accident last weekend. Image: Letaba Herald

The Maphalle 24 died after the taxi they were travelling in collided head-on with a bus.

The funeral service for 21 of the 24 youths who perished in a horrific crash in Limpopo last weekend got underway at the Ga-Rapitsi Sports Ground in Ga-Kgapane, Limpopo today, reports Letaba Herald.

Families, friends, teachers and school mates of the deceased were present at the mass funeral, as well as dignitaries from the Mopani District Municipality, Greater Letaba Municipality, Department of Transport and Community Safety, Road Accident Fund, funeral parlours and other stakeholders.

ALSO READ: 24 youngsters made a deadly choice when they changed taxis for better music

Three families requested not to be part of the mass funeral.

Makola Stanley Lekukela, Mangena Mashao and Monyela Matome Doctor requested the preparatory committee to allow them space to bury their loved ones outside the mass funeral arrangement.

The Makola family will bury their loved ones on Saturday.

The Mangena and Monyela families will proceed with their funerals on Sunday respectively.

Youths were returning home from the June 16 commemoration at Sekgosese, outside Modjadjiskloof in the Greater Letaba municipality when 24 of them decided to change taxis for better music, The Citizen learned on Thursday.

“They came in a different taxi. But after the commemoration, they braved the cold winter weather and went for a skinny dip at the Maphalle swimming pool,” said a taxi driver, who asked not to be named, at the memorial service in Ga-Rapitsi on Thursday.

The accident took place at 22:00 along the R81 road between Mooketsi and Giyani when a bus coming from Giyani towards Mooketsi and a Quantum coming from Mooketsi towards Giyani collided head-on

Twenty-four passengers in the minibus taxi died at the scene, while one passenger sustained serious injuries.

In the bus, the driver and two passengers sustained serious injuries.

Letaba Herald reported live from the scene. Videos can be viewed here.

Additional reporting by Alex Matlala 

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