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Rheenendal bus crash: Families seek justice

The inquest into the accident which claimed 15 lives concluded in the Knysna Magistrates Court on Friday.

FILE: Families of the Rheenendal school bus crash victims say they are still waiting for justice following the conclusion of the inquest into the accident which claimed the lives of 14 pupils and the bus driver. Picture: SAPA.

CAPE TOWN - The lawyer representing the families of the Rheenendal school bus crash victims says they are still waiting for justice.

The inquest into the accident which claimed the lives of 14 pupils and their driver concluded in the Knysna Magistrates Court on Friday.

Approximately 59 passengers were on the bus when it veered off the road and plunged into a river near Knysna two years ago.

The vehicle was only certified to carry 32 passengers.

An investigation has found the bus was in a poor condition at the time.

While testifying in court yesterday, a mechanical expert told the court the state of the bus played a major role in the crash.

He found defects with the brake system and steering mechanism, which were never repaired.

The problems were identified by the TJ Motor Vehicle Testing Station, four months before the fatal crash but despite this, a roadworthy certificate was issued.

The mechanical expert testified that driver negligence was also a factor because he could not have attempted to go up a hill a second time after the bus had stalled with his passengers on board.

The investigation also revealed the bus had no known service record.

Lawyer Jerald Andrews says, "We hope that somebody can be criminally prosecuted for this tragic accident so that justice can be done to these families who lost their loved ones."

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