Scenes of shock, anguish as parents learn of horror crash

2017-04-21 18:57
The aftermath of the accident that claimed 20 lives on the R25 outside Verena, Thembisile Municipality along the Mpumalanga/Gauteng border. (Lerato Sejake,News24)

The aftermath of the accident that claimed 20 lives on the R25 outside Verena, Thembisile Municipality along the Mpumalanga/Gauteng border. (Lerato Sejake,News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - Scenes of horror and anguish played out at a school in the village of Sokhulumi on Friday as parents learned of the death of 19 school children in a horror taxi accident near the border of Gauteng and Mpumalanga.

Some family members stood outside the school hall at Sizakele Primary School sobbing uncontrollably. A mother lay on the floor, crying for help. She was later supported by family and friends who tried to comfort her.

While Sizakele was not one of the schools whose pupils had been involved in the crash, the premises was used as a base where Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi briefed parents.

Less than ten minutes away in Verena, authorities were still tending to the debris of the burnt out taxi that lay scattered in parts along the side of the road.

Paramedics said earlier that several children had been burnt beyond recognition after the taxi caught fire.

As the sun set over the scene of the horrific crash, the remains of burnt school books lay scattered outside the taxi.

Education spokesperson Steve Mabona said 19 pupils were killed in the crash as well as the driver, bringing the death toll to 20. Seven children survived the accident and have been taken to various hospitals.

Three are in a critical condition, he said.

The pupils attended Refano Primary School and Mahlenga High School.

All that remained of the taxi after the accident. (Lerato Sejake, News24)

Lesufi said the taxi crash was a dark day for the Gauteng Education Department. 

Lesufi said they would meet with family members on Sunday and establish the funeral committee. 

"We have already unleashed all the support needed for taking families to hospitals as well as ensuring that they get counselling."

Read more on:    pretoria  |  accidents

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.