Eight young Zululand job-seekers killed in taxi crash

2013-01-15 00:00

EIGHT people from Okhukho in northern KwaZulu-Natal died on Sunday night when their taxi overturned near Heidelberg on its way to Johannesburg.

Zakhele Buthelezi, a ward councillor in Okhukho, told The Witness that those who died had been on their way to Johannesburg to look for jobs.

Among the dead was Buthelezi’s brother, Philani (26). “He completed matric in 2010, and had not yet started working.

“He was on his way to Johannesburg to look for work as it is the new year,” Buthelezi said.

Another victim of the accident was Ayanda Khanyile (19), who had just passed his matric.

“He was on his way to Johannesburg to look for work because, although he passed well, he could not further his studies because of his family’s financial situation.”

Buthelezi said one of the passengers told him the driver of the taxi lost control after one of the front tyres fell off.

Zululand District Municipality Mayor Zanele Magwaza-Msibi offered the families her condolences.

‘We are shocked and saddened about the passing away of eight people from our district who, because of poverty and high levels of unemployment in Zululand, are forced to seek job opportunities in other provinces,” she said.

“Most of those who passed away were still very young and the district and the country expected a lot from them. Our condolences go to the families and I wish those who survived a speedy recovery,” she added.

It was not clear how many passengers survived, but Zululand municipal spokesperson Skhumbuzo Miya said the taxi had been carrying a full load.

Gauteng police spokesperson Lieutenant Lungelo Dlamini was unavailable for comment.

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