Bus drivers face ­multiple charges

Members of the police next to the wreckage after an accident in which ten passengers, mostly ANC supporters, were killed. A bus overturned on the N1 between Winburg and Ventersburg last year in April. Photo: Supplied
Members of the police next to the wreckage after an accident in which ten passengers, mostly ANC supporters, were killed. A bus overturned on the N1 between Winburg and Ventersburg last year in April. Photo: Supplied

The two drivers implicated in a bus accident that killed ten passengers who attended an ANC rally in Port Elizabeth last April will be charged with culpable homicide, as well as reckless and negligent driving.

The charges against the pair follows an investigation into the horrific accident, which occurred on the N1 between Winburg and Ventersburg on 17 April last year.

Lt. Malebo Khosana, Thabong cluster police spokesperson, said the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) decided to prosecute the two drivers of the Kabati Transport Services after the Winburg Police Detective Unit comple­ted investigations into the accident.

He said the drivers were expected to appear in the Winburg Regional Court on 24 January facing charges of culpable homicide, as well as reckless and negligent driving.

There were reports alleging the two drivers had exchanged seating positions while the bus was in motion, with the one attempting to move over to the driver’s seat to continue with the journey.

They apparently lost control, resulting in the bus overturning, instantly killing ten of the 65 passengers who had been on the bus.

A 31-year-old assistant driver who survived reportedly told the police that the bus had overturned when he was attempting to assist the driver in charge to bring the bus under control after realising his colleague had lost control of the bus.

The bus overturned 20 km from Winburg in the direction of Ventersburg on the N1. It was transporting ANC supporters who were returning to Gauteng from Port Elizabeth, where they had attended the ruling party’s manifesto launch for the local municipal elections.

A crane was used to lift up the bus and retrieve the bodies trapped underneath. The victims were five men and five women.

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