Minibus smashes into school bus: 18 dead

2012-07-21 14:27

Johannesburg - A school bus carrying students to a sports event, believed to be a rugby match, collided with a minibus killing at least 18 and injuring 31, officials said.

Two school children were among the 18 killed when two buses collided on the R61 between Cradock and Graaf-Reinet in the Eastern Cape on Saturday, Arrive Alive said.

"The death toll has increased to 18. Earlier we reported that 16 people had died but two others have died in hospital," spokesperson Tshepo Machaea.

The accident occurred in the Eastern Cape near the town of Cradock. The Mercedes Benz school bus was being "driven by the principal," Ashraf Ismail, a spokesperson for South Africa's road traffic managment agency told AFP.

He said 13 of the dead were travelling on the minibus. Two of the three other fatalities were children.

The eNews television channel said the students were on their way to a rugby match.

South African roads are among the most dangerous in the world, with some 13 000 people killed every year - more than 35 a day.

  • ACEUP - 2012-07-21 14:34

    Johannesburg-"R61 between Cradock and Graaf-Reinet in the Eastern Cape"?

      ronel.kruger.12 - 2012-07-21 14:42

      The News bureau is in Johannesburg.

      ianon.ym - 2012-07-21 14:49

      Unbelievable - 25 Dead last week, 18 now - carnage on SA Roads - condolences to all the families.

      Janice - 2012-07-22 10:18

      ACEUP - you are a moron!!!

      louis.olivier.988 - 2012-07-22 17:00

      and it says SA roads are the most dangerous in the world. I think not, it's mostly those Bloo.y taxi drivers

      christopher.columbus.3950178 - 2012-07-22 19:00

      Fu*K!!it does not stop!!

  • marcelle.joubertdurandt - 2012-07-21 14:34

    OMW .... God please be with all of the ones who lost Loved ones here .... Tragic.

  • ronald.jeffs - 2012-07-21 14:35

    the common denominator = Taxi! something needs to be done about these Taxi's, they cause so many deaths a year yet the government are scared of the Taxi associations! Then you should not be in power if you have fear.... Taxi's are the RTI. But it is ok I guess? Our President is a joke, so the rest of government follow suit.

      bernard.ingram - 2012-07-21 18:33

      And they are driven by animals!

  • Felix Njewa Kankhukwa - 2012-07-21 14:37

    Our Roads?

      raymond.abrahamse - 2012-07-21 15:30

      NO,the roads in Egypt.

  • shirley.steenkamp - 2012-07-21 14:37

    Condolences to all! Someone has a lot of explaining to do! The road carnage is out of hand and we need stricter roadworthy rules,especially when they vehicle is transporting multiple passengers! Very sad!

      shirley.steenkamp - 2012-07-21 15:59

      Leonardb1: I agree with you but the state of a lot of buses,taxis are nowhere near fit to be on the road. I feel it would be a good place to start by making it compulsory for all busses,taxis etc to have a test every 6months. The drivers....well a bottle of brandy and the licence is in your hand.

  • Johan De Beer - 2012-07-21 14:43

    The taxi drivers on this road are very arrogant and notoriously reckless.

  • smallies - 2012-07-21 14:52

    dis erg om te dink my kinders het in die vorige kwartaal nog teen die laerskool cradock mee geding,ek glo elke aliwal-noord ouer en skolier is geraak hier deur sterkte aan die skoliere ouers en personeel van cradock laerskool,julle is in ons gebede

      morne.nortier.98 - 2012-07-21 16:06

      Who the #%$^ gives that comment a thumbs down - just take this stupid feature out.

  • Henk - 2012-07-21 14:55

    It is time the pathetic ANC start to act and punish offenders. But then again they cannot even punish the cadres! RIP...

      carolyn.dewrance - 2012-07-21 15:08

      Henk some of them are the biggest offenders, just wont admit it. They are all ex cons, and killers, so guess there is no way in hell that they are going to do anything to stop the carnage in this country

      Henk - 2012-07-21 15:24

      Stalincina, It is because they do not enforce the laws. We where all scared for the police during apartheid years. Today we are still scared cause the police are criminals.

      rebecca.robyn - 2012-07-21 15:39

      Really???politicizing this as well?

      Henk - 2012-07-21 16:01

      Yes Rebbeca, You can get away with murder who cares about traffic laws. Just see how taxi's behave. Does te current regime do anything to curb that behaviour? No none Rebecca, none.

  • Andre - 2012-07-21 14:58

    It is time the police authorities concentrate less on Porche, and other high tech car drivers speeding, and start concentrating their efforts on taxi drivers overloading, skipping stop streets and robots, making u-turns in traffic, passing vehicles crossing solid lines and breaking every possible regulation and law. They are the scourge of our roads!

  • Blackpoison - 2012-07-21 15:04

    When will the pathetic, worthless, lazy, bush-hiding traffic cops get off their damn asses and do something worthwile in regards to these taxis? Condolences to the families.

      anton.coetzee.37 - 2012-09-13 17:20

      they are too scared!

  • Thato Okonkwo Fakudze - 2012-07-21 15:14

    Death be not proud!

      Thato Okonkwo Fakudze - 2012-07-21 15:23

      Rest in peace

      alansmartSnr - 2012-07-21 16:25

      ..@ Thato Okonkwo Fakudze What the hell are you trying to say: You make no sense.!

  • blane.blandon - 2012-07-21 15:25

    The roads arent dangerous , the drivers are

  • raymond.abrahamse - 2012-07-21 15:26

    These taxis are a curse on the roads.They think the roads belong to them and they are above the laws of the road.They are the rudest drivers I have ever come across.Sometimes I wish I had a truck with bull bars on to take them out.I HATE them with a passion.A total disrespect for the law.I think more people have been killed on our dangerous roads than in the last World War.The Carnage continues but,nothing is done about it and I don't think that anything will be done,except a lot of talking as usual.

  • 19SideWaysView - 2012-07-21 15:39

    This is a very serious indictment on the state of our roads, the attitude of our drivers, the corruption of the department responsible for issuing driver's licences and most of all- the minister responsible for all of the above. He/she largely remain silent and simply offer condolences when such tragedies occur. Our traffic law enforcement is incompetent, open to corruption and barely know and understand the rules of the road themselves. They never ever inspire confidence. The whole situation is a mess and beyond disgraceful

  • leonie.wood1 - 2012-07-21 15:40

    This is so tragic! Young lives - just gone! Condolences to the families! My heart is with you! Leonie Richards Bay

  • geoff.crewebrown - 2012-07-21 15:41

    Craddock was on their way to play rugby against us here in Graaff Reinet. This is so devastating. Our tiny farming communities are small and we have to travel far to participate in sport against each other. Our prayers are with the Craddock community, the driver of the bus was the headmaster. Such a terrible terrible accident.

  • esther.coetzee.50 - 2012-07-21 15:42

    As long as certain drivers believe that road rules were invened by white people to make their lives more difficult, instead of understanding the need for rules to regulate traffic and ensure safety,we will not see improvement in the behaviour of taxi drivers

      esther.coetzee.50 - 2012-07-21 15:46

      'invened'should read'ínvented'

      esther.coetzee.50 - 2012-07-22 08:52

      @puse.mabuza - you are the idiot here. The taxi overtook a vehicle on a solid white line and crashed into the bus. Most accidents on the road are cause by idiots who cannot drive and think they do not have to adhere to road rules. When last have you been driving and do you have a legal driving licence? Certain people have the attitude that 'freedom' means you can do what you like whenever you want without considering others

      anton.coetzee.37 - 2012-09-13 17:23

      what do you expect when you are born and bred in the bush!

  • wally.williams.148 - 2012-07-21 15:46

    I do not know what exactly happened, and I honestly don't understand how in so many instances vehicles just get "out of control". Taxi drivers all over are a law unto themselves, BUT also, truck drivers, bus drivers, delivery van drivers, courier companies' vehicles, towing and recovery vehicles, morguary vehicles. Then we get the police, ambulance, traffic authorities, blue light cronies and everyone associated with these services NOT necessarily speeding towards an emergency - being late is NOT an emergency - also fall into this category. Lowering the national speed limit is not going to do the trick. Yesterday I drove between East London and Mthatha and came across two delivery trucks from Star Bread. Both drivers were intent on getting to their destination as quickly as possible. There was a total disregard for barrier lines, blind corners, the size and mobility of these vehicles and on-coming traffic in clear sight. Then, we were traversing a section of the N2 being reconstructed with limited space to move in at times. It did not deter them. The one truck eventually ended up driving on the opposite lane against the traffic as he had no space while overtaking 4 or 5 vehicles including a truck and my car. He continued around 2 bends and an incline. On-coming traffic had to revert to the far left - shoulder beyond the yellow barier area to avoid head-on collisions. My car can do in excess of 230 km/h, accelerates like a bullet; why did I not pass, or the car in front of me?

  • tandi.freeman - 2012-07-21 15:49

    Unbelievable!!!May God bless all those who are suffering.:-(

  • Jake - 2012-07-21 15:53

    ridiculous....and just as we bury the dead from the train/truck crash....WHEN do we begin to realise that road safety is not not just talking tough but being tough. Take a look at what a private company has done to tackle the carnage...see wwwfatalmovesdotcom

  • jose.fernandes.3910829 - 2012-07-21 15:54

    this will stop only once the ones selling licences are brought to book. I know what Im talking about and I can prove it.

  • wally.williams.148 - 2012-07-21 16:03

    In addition to my earlier post, I see this happen all over. Why is it that I am able to pass a vehicle but the circumstances do not allow or the rules, and then another driver just ignores all of this - supposedly I am stupid to hold back? Why do trucks and buses and taxi's insist on passing another slow moving vehicle before letting the faster moving vehicles through first where permitted? Why are ppl allowed to cruise down the barrier area or against the traffic or use lanes designated to turn to skip the qeue? Why are drivers allowed to cross into an intersection knowing that there is no space and in so doing block all traffic? Because of selfishness, arrogance beyond imagination, recklessness, an absence of any self-respect and need I say respect for others, a total absence of common courtesy and respect for life/bodily integrity/property of the self and others, an absence of knowledge of and ignorance to the laws that govern our roads and most importantly a SERIOUS dereliction of duty by BOTH SAPS and Traffic Law Enforcement Agencies to be vigilant/awake/aware/alert/visible in enforcing the law and being seen to do so. And now I refer to MOVING violations as referred to above and others. If we can achieve this, and may our Holy Father provide that we do, we will have some of the safest roads around. Is there commitment to do this? Not at present, unfortunately. The authorities are either turning a blind eye or milking ppl through bribes or speeding fines. Sad but true.

  • max.maxwell - 2012-07-21 16:10

    How tragic! And yet the RTI still focus on speed, instead of patroling for unsafe driving practises and removing unsafe vehicles ( and drivers) from the road. Speed does not kill! There has to be an accident FIRST!

  • elmarie.viljoen.7 - 2012-07-21 16:15

    Thoughts and condolences to all the family and friends!

  • lulama.mbelwa - 2012-07-21 16:36

    Oh no, what's happening on the roads these days? What's with the large number of people dying on the roads?

  • julio.sanfona - 2012-07-21 16:44

    R.I.P. and condolences to the families. Again multiple deaths involving mini taxis and buses. Last week there was a lorry crossing a level crossing causing many deaths. In this case the traffic authorities were very quick to hold the farmer accountable for the accident. Our roads aren't necessarily dangerous, the many unroadworthy vehicles and the drivers who probably acquired their drivers licenses illegally, are the culprits. However the traffic "authorities" are really the cause for the chaos on our roads because they don't know/do their jobs by not policing the bad drivers and unroardworthy vehicles. When last did anyone see the traffic police stop anyone for contravening the rules of the road or stopping vehicles that look suspect, are overloaded, travel at night with no or inadequate lights, etc., etc. My blood boils when I see these useless cops make statements on the news but fail to tackle the real traffic issues.

  • jerry.pres - 2012-07-21 17:12

    South African roads are not dangerous, South African are the worst driver in the world.RIP to all.

      esther.coetzee.50 - 2012-07-22 08:59

      It is the mentality of the drivers that makes the roads so dangerous. Idiots who think they own the country. The same idiots are the reason why the country's roads are in such a bad state

  • Bless Boswell - 2012-07-21 17:45

    The South African government has no respect for the lives of its citizens. This attitude is carried through to the criminal element who also have no respect for human life. Every taxi driver without a roadworthy vehicle, who overloads, who breaks the speed limit or drives on the wrong side of the road, is breaking the law and by so doing displays his disregard for those who entrust him with their lives. Tough as it may be, passengers should boycott drivers who put passengers' lives at risk. If those who provide services to the public take their lead from government, this country is doomed.

  • Aubrey - 2012-07-21 19:10

    ANC goverment you are the cause of death in our road, since ANC come into power a lot of peoples bought drivers licenses from the traffic depaetments more specially in mpumalanga .

      mosia.johannes - 2012-07-22 00:50

      Unfair words.. U better rule. Fraily words is all torrent maan come on Where dooes the party get on ths becos drivers should be proven wrong.

      esther.coetzee.50 - 2012-07-22 09:04

      It is all over, in the Free State there are lots of people with expensive cars who do not have a clue how to handle the vehicle.Mostly women, wonder where this 'poor' people get the money to buy these expensive cars which they are unable to drive

  • danny.dube.984 - 2012-07-21 19:54

    It.s sad @painful when so much lives are lost daily due to reckless drivers.the government must do some on this. It does n.t help blame a solution is required .most drivers do not obey/understand road signs .they know if he/she caught u pay bribe and off the hook

      pierre.dupreez.58 - 2012-07-22 12:32

      Hmmmm Danny, how must the Government do something? How about people, and that includes all of us, as well as Taxi drivers taking some responsibility for our own behaviour? Is it really the Governement's fault when this kind of thing happens? What about the savage taxi driver who was behind the steering wheel? It is actually quite simple, you drive like an idiot for long enough, you increase your chances of having an accident.

  • trudi.stewart.joynt - 2012-07-21 20:29

    'South African roads are among the most dangerous in the world, with some 13 000 people killed every year - more than 35 a day.' I don't think it is our roads, it is the drivers of the taxi's that make our roads dangerous. Never does a day go by when you witness how these men put the lives of their passengers in danger.

  • debbie.riggien - 2012-07-21 20:55

    Most of these accidents involve mini bus taxis!! They need to be removed from the roads OR the drivers need legally obtained licences.

  • tommo.too - 2012-07-22 03:12

    and the minibus just happened to be a taxi....?

  • nokwanda.ramncwana - 2012-07-22 05:43

    My condolences to those families, may holly spirit be with them.

  • comurray - 2012-07-22 10:04

    No, don't blame the roads or vehicles. It is the person driving/in charge of the taxi, totally uneducated drivers you only know one speed, flat out or stopped. These drivers are paid by the numbers of trips they do on a daily basis. The more trips the better they pay therefor there are no rest periods for drivers. Enough said.

  • shamiel.mathews - 2012-07-22 13:12

    My condolences to the families affected. I can't imagine your loss. I would like to pose the question about the taxi industry and where all this is going. For years the industry are contributing to 1000's of losses. There are wars around the world where there are less loss of life. I don’t hear any political entity condemn this industry, and by implication, the Dept of Transport. Why are we fighting to nationalise the mines and banks, and the 1 industry that kills or people daily are being ignored? We all know the main reason taxi drivers drives are irresponsible is their remuneration structure. They have to produce to the taxi bosses their agreed amount, irrespective if it was done unsafely or if they broke any laws of the road. Go on any road in SA, and see how dangerous they drive. They will overtake unsafely and put everyone’s lives in danger and have a good laugh if he made the gap….I would like to suggest, invest in a Dept of taxi affairs, regulate the industry by running it like a government department where taxi drivers gets a government salary and save billions on road accidents and loss of life. In short, pay the driver a fixed salary, train and educate them and the road deaths in SA will come down.

  • hjohn.marquis - 2012-07-22 17:02

    OK. So if this was the mining or construction industry government would force them to close their operations until an inquiry had been held. The Unions would call for the arrest of the mine owners and would allude to profit being the motive and a total disrespect for the sanctity of human life. Why the silence; where is the inquiry. It smacks of double standards when dealing with an industry that kills over 15 000 people a year. To the families, my deepest sympathies on you tragic loss.

  • maureen.churchill.9 - 2012-07-22 21:15

    Dear God, why must this keep happening, the carnage on our roads is terrible so many people losing their lives. Yearly thousands of people killed, probably bread-winners of the family and their extended families..

      michil.chegwidden - 2012-07-23 07:45

      Let all Taxi driver underwent advanced driving as part of their public licenses. Educate them will help to limit the accidents.

  • judy.lesar1 - 2012-07-23 00:54

    BEWARE - KILLER ROADS All South African citizens should take special care when they leave their homes. There are Roads out there just waiting for revenge for the heavy weights they have to carry each day in every type of waether.

  • IcemanGP - 2012-07-23 09:47

    And once again, I clearly lay the blame at the road traffic Police's feet. They are clearly at fault. Why, well they seem to think that easy money comes from hiding away and trapping motorists "illegally" from behind and sending the fine "illegally" months later. Instead of patrolling roads and policing traffic right there and then at the transgression. Saw a Mercedes driver go into a turning lane, then proceeded to move off straight through a red robot, and that's jus one of the many I witnessed in a space of an hour this morning.

  • candice.hayward2 - 2012-07-23 10:19


  • andy.goeieman.5 - 2012-07-23 10:45

    my condolences to the families of the 35 that will die today. if you reading this before you die may you rest in peace. such a tragedy to lose abiding citizens. count 35 people around you that will die today gladie n leka gedagte nhe sterkte suid afrikaners en sou j in n ongeluk betroke is en oorleef moer daai taxi drywer.

  • jeaninetrethewey - 2012-07-23 13:14

    South African roads r becoming killing fields!!! So many innocent lives lost each day due to reckless drivers!!! our goverment should clamp down on such drivers! my heart goes out to all the families that have lost loved ones here in Cradock! You in my thoughts and prayers! God be with u all!!!

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