Cancel reed dance, solidarity network calls as death toll rises

2015-08-29 19:21
(File, News24)

(File, News24)

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Cape Town - The death toll in an accident in which dozens of young women were killed in Swaziland on Saturday has risen to 65.

Over 100 more have been hospitalised, Swaziland Solidarity Network spokesperson Lucky Lukhele told News24.

The girls were killed on the Mbabane-Manzini highway while on their way to cut reeds for the annual Umhlanga reed dance.

“Thirty-eight died at the scene,” he confirmed.

Another 27 died in hospital.

“What makes this tragedy worse is that these women were being transported in a truck, which is against the law,” he said.

He reiterated the network’s call for the reed dance to be cancelled.

“If would be abhorrent if it should be allowed to go ahead,” Lukhele insisted.

“The event should instead be turned into a prayer session where support can be given to the families who have been affected.”

President Jacob Zuma has also sent his condolences to the people of Swaziland.

“[We] share in the mourning of the families, as well as the relatives of the deceased. We wish the injured speedy recoveries," he said in a statement.

Read more on:    swaziland  |  accidents  |  southern africa

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