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Rheenendal bus crash inquiry underway

Legal representatives visited the Rheenendal crash site where 14 children and a bus driver died.

"Police divers at the scene of an accident where fifteen people died and 44 were injured when a school bus plunged off a bridge and into a dam in Knysna on 24 August 2011. Picture: SAPA

CAPE TOWN - Lawyer representing the families of the Rheenendal bush crash victims on Monday said 12 witnesses are lined up for cross-examination during court proceedings this week.

An inquiry into the crash started at the Knysna Magistrate's Court earlier in the day.

The hearing kicked off with legal representatives visiting the site where the accident occurred.

At least 14 school pupils and their driver were killed when their bus veered off the road and plunged into a river near Knysna in August 2011.

The inquiry will be used to determine what caused the accident, as well as for the courts to then decide who should be held responsible.

Lawyer Jerald Andrews said, "The court is packed to capacity and this is very emotional for the family members."

He said the hearing will last for the next three days.

"The matter has been set down for the next three days. There are about 24 witnesses in total and 12 are expected to take to the stand this week. We'll try and wrap this up as soon as possible."

Meanwhile, authorities are still investigating the cause of a deadly bus accident at the Hex River Valley two weeks ago.

At least 24 people were killed when their bus overturned while travelling to Cape Town.

The congregation was returning from a national prayer meeting in Secunda.

The victims were laid to rest over the weekend.

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