Teachers’ union offers support after North West crash

2011-09-09 14:18

The families of 10 teachers killed in a North West crash today were offered all forms of support, the National Professional Teachers’ Organisation of SA said.

“We are going to be working out exactly what we can do for those affected by our members’ deaths,” said union president Ezrah Ramasehla.

“We feel very saddened by this and feel for the families ... the schools where members come from and their communities.”

Sixteen people were killed and three critically injured in a crash between a minibus taxi and a bakkie this morning, said the police’s Lesego Metsi.

The accident happened on the N4 Bakwena Highway about 4km outside Zeerust around 7am. The driver of the bakkie, coming from Rustenburg and carrying five passengers, lost control of the vehicle and collided head-on with the taxi.

The taxi was ferrying teachers to a conference in Rustenburg.

Metsi said both vehicles caught fire. This made it difficult to establish the identities and genders of the deceased.

Ramasehla said he did not have a list of those on board. “In this time, all I can say is I hope our members died quickly ... I cannot imagine the pain they must have went through.”

Provincial safety and liaison MEC Desbo Mohono said today that one death on the road was a death too many. “This enormous loss has left us numb with shock.”

Basic education minister Angie Motshekga extended her condolences to the affected schools, and friends and families of the deceased.

“An injury to a teacher is an injury to the education system,” she said.

Deputy basic education minister Enver Surty and the department’s director-general were on their way to the scene.

The Young Communist League made a plea to the department to provide counselling for those affected. It said the accident was a great loss, as the country had too few teachers.

“We appeal to authorities to investigate the cause of the accident and the perpetrators must be brought to book.”

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