Limpopo bus crashes: Transport department blames drivers and border officials

10 people died in a bus crash on the N1 South outside Polokwane. (Image via Twitter/Honnetsweng EMS)
10 people died in a bus crash on the N1 South outside Polokwane. (Image via Twitter/Honnetsweng EMS)

The Limpopo transport department is laying the blame for 21 deaths from two bus crashes this week on cross-border authorities and bus drivers.

"What concerns us is that the buses cross the border during early hours of the morning," provincial transport MEC Makoma Makhurupetjie said.

According to her understanding, the bus that overturned on Friday morning on the N1 had been travelling from Zimbabwe. Ten people were killed in the accident.

READ - UPDATE: Road reopens following deadly Limpopo bus crash

"You can see that it crossed the border between 02:00 and 03:00 by the time it arrived in Polokwane."

Eleven people also died on Monday morning when a bus travelling from Zambia crashed in Polokwane.

"We are worried about our cross-border management. We can't allow somebody travelling from Harare to pass the border at those hours. You can see that today's crash was because of fatigue as well as the bus that was from Zambia on Monday, where a tyre burst. Those are all due to long-distance travelling," Makhurupetjie said.

'The border must close'

Makhurupetjie added that there was nothing wrong with the roads and that drivers undertaking long distances at night should be blamed.

She said the department would set up a meeting with border officials.

"We are planning to have a meeting with officials of cross borders. We need to restrict these buses not to cross the border during early hours. The border must close. We can't allow them to continue passing the borders with such a number of passengers."

ALSO READ: Culpable homicide probe launched after 11 die in Limpopo bus crash

Makhurupetjie added that it was a concern that the incidents occurred just before a long weekend.

She said law enforcement agencies would be on high alert going into the weekend to ensure that there were no more road incidents.

Makhurupetjie also urged commuters to be cautious on the roads and to avoid driving at night.

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