74 killed in recent taxi crashes
Johannesburg - About 74 people have been killed and 203 injured in accidents involving minibus taxis countrywide since the beginning of August.
Twenty-six of these crashes occurred in Johannesburg and Durban.
The one that attracted the most attention involved 10 schoolchildren being killed when a train ploughed into their minibus in the Western Cape on August 25. The driver allegedly jumped a queue of cars waiting at a level crossing in Blackheath, tried to get around the lowered boom and was hit by an oncoming train.
The driver, Jacob Humphries, aged 55, who was taking 13 children to school, was arrested on August 29 and currently facing charges of culpable homicide. He was released on R20 000 bail by the Blue Downs District Court on Tuesday and had his case postponed to December 3.
Twenty-one people were killed in accidents on Wednesday alone.
Six people were killed when their taxi rolled on the N14 near Diepsloot, Johannesburg, apparently after one of the rear wheels came off. The other 13 passengers were critically injured.
Johannesburg emergency management services spokesperson Percy Morokane said: "People's arms were crushed, there was massive head trauma."
Another 13 commuters were killed and two others seriously injured on the R716, near Heilbron in the Free State on Wednesday evening, when their minibus collided head-on with a truck. The drivers of both vehicles escaped unhurt.
In KwaZulu-Natal five people were killed when a driver lost control of his minibus in Mahlabathini, near Ulundi. A sixth person died in hospital. Eight other people were injured.