I would like to express my shock and deepest sympathy on behalf of the Democratic Alliance with the families of the victims of Saturday morning’s accident on the R61 outside Cradock in which a school principal, two learners and 13 passengers of a minibus taxi from Mthatha were killed. Our hearts and prayers are with them.
The accident took place when a bus from the Cradock Primary School collided with the taxi. The children were on their way to a sport event in Graaff-Reinet.
While the circumstances leading to this tragedy are not clear, this is another wake-up call that serious attention must be given to road safety, especially when it comes to taxis that travel through the night. Driver fatigue is one of the main causes of these frequent taxi-accidents. What we need is legislation and tough action.
I will be visiting the Cradock Primary School on Monday, 23 July 2012, to convey my condolences, while representative of the DA in Mthatha will visit the families of the victims who were travelling in the taxi.
I believe that this heart-breaking incident could have been avoided. We cannot allow the unnecessary loss of lives on our roads to continue.
Editors Notes: Sixteen people, including the principal and two learners of the Cradock Primary School School were killed in a horror accident involving the school bus and a minibus-taxi on Saturday, 21 July 2012.
I was hunting on a farm, Blomfontein, about 45 kilometres south of Cradock when the incident happened and witness to an incredible sense of community as the local hunters mourned the loss of community members. It was clear that the tragic loss of their own town members hurt them deep.