More than 140 killed on SA roads this weekend - RTMC

Johannesburg - A total of 141 people died over the weekend in 110 accidents across South Africa.

The road carnage was "unprecedented", the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) said on Monday.

"The highest number was recorded in the Eastern Cape, where 53 people were killed. Two crashes, one in Willowvale with 35 fatalities and another involving a minibus taxi that crashed near Cradock with nine fatalities, accounted for the majority of the deaths," spokesperson Simon Zwane said in a statement.

Gauteng recorded the second highest number of deaths at 21 in 29 crashes, followed by 17 deaths in 18 crashes in KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo with 13 deaths in 12 accidents. RTMC investigators have been sent to the Eastern Cape to determine the exact cause of those two major accidents.

"A preliminary report from the investigators is expected this week," Zwane said.

He said the RTMC was working with provincial traffic authorities to intensify law enforcement on the roads, including introducing a 24-hour shift for traffic officers, in an effort to reduce the number of people who die in motor vehicle crashes.

The shareholder committee, comprising Transport Minister Dipuo Peters, all transport MECs and the South African Local Government Association, last week granted the RTMC the authority to harmonise law-enforcement throughout the country.

In Swaziland, 65 young women reportedly participating in the annual traditional Umhlanga Reed Dance, died in an accident at the weekend. It was reported they were en route to cut reeds for the annual ceremony taking place on Monday, when the accident happened.

The death toll was currently being disputed though, with the Swazi police reportedly saying 13 people - 11 young women and two men - died. However, the Swaziland Solidarity Network had reported the higher figure.

Lucky Lukhele from the Swaziland Solidarity Network told eNCA the number was changed to allow the Swazi king to continue with the Reed dance.

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