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The scene of the fatal vehicle accident near the Lalapanzi Hotel along the N1 just south of Louis Trichardt on Sunday evening that left six people dead. Photo supplied.

Bloody weekend on region’s roads

 

Motorists in the Soutpansberg are urged to be extra vigilant when traveling, following a spate of serious and fatal accidents on the region’s roads the past week since the official start of the December holidays.

As traffic volumes increased, severe traffic congestion started taking place along the N1 north from the Baobab Tollgate to the Beitbridge Border Post on Saturday. The situation caused provincial traffic and road traffic management corporation officers to be deployed in the area to monitor and manage the situation to ensure the free flow of traffic.

Although motorists in the area were advised to exercise patience, a fatal vehicle accident in the Soutpansberg mountain pass early Saturday morning caused traffic in both directions to pile up for kilometres, forcing motorists to take a more than 50km detour via the Witvlag Road through Nzhelele to get back on the N1 again.

The carnage on the region’s roads continued that same day, with news that a horrific crash along the R37 in the Capricorn District had caused the death of seven women. The women were all traveling in a minibus taxi that collided with a truck. Law-enforcement officers at the scene cited reckless driving as a possible cause of the crash.

Following this accident, the Limpopo MEC for Transport and Community Safety, Florence Radzilani, sent condolences to the bereaved families and wished those injured a speedy recovery. "To receive such news during festive holidays is heart breaking. I can't begin to imagine what the families of the deceased have to endure. May they find strength to get through this difficult time,” said Radzilani. She also continued by pleading with motorists to obey the rules of the road, so that everyone can arrive alive at their respective destinations.

Sadly, the bad news was to continue with another fatal accident claiming the lives of six people near the Lalapanzi Hotel along the N1 just south of Louis Trichardt at about 21:00 on Sunday, 18 December.

A light motor vehicle collided  head-on with a light delivery vehicle after allegedly overtaking across a barrier line. Four women and two men were declared dead at the scene. Four other people who sustained injuries were transported to nearby health facilities for medical attention. Again, law-enforcement officers at the scene cited reckless driving as possible cause of the crash.

Radzilani again sent her condolences to the bereaved families of the deceased. "This has been a bloody weekend on our roads. Our hearts are heavy. People have lost lives in different kinds of vehicles and others while walking,” said Radzilani. She again called on road users to never get tired of heeding the call to always obey the rules of the road. “Let us be mindful of the decisions we take on the road and their impact on others before we act,” said Radzilani.

 

 

Date:21 December 2022

By: Andries van Zyl

Andries joined the Zoutpansberger and Limpopo Mirror in April 1993 as a darkroom assistant. Within a couple of months he moved over to the production side of the newspaper and eventually doubled as a reporter. In 1995 he left the newspaper group and travelled overseas for a couple of months. In 1996, Andries rejoined the Zoutpansberger as a reporter. In August 2002, he was appointed as News Editor of the Zoutpansberger, a position he holds until today.

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