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Mass memorial service to be held for R18 victims

Officials said 19 of the 24 people who died were pupils at four local schools in villages around Bolobedu, while the other five were community members.

24 people were killed in a horrific bus and minibus crash along the R81 road in Limpopo. Picture: Arrive Alive.

JOHANNESBURG – A mass memorial service for the victims of the R81 head-on collision would be held on Thursday.

Twenty-four people died when a bus collided with a minibus taxi in Maphalle near Giyane on Sunday evening. It is believed that the deceased in the taxi were returning from 16 June celebrations.

Officials said 19 of the 24 were pupils at four local schools in villages around Bolobedu, while the other five were community members. Eighteen were males and six were females.

A coordinating team comprising of government departments, the Mopani District Municipality, Greater Letaba Municipality, businesses, communities, traditional leaders have since identified all the deceased.

The National Transport Department and taxi association Santaco have pledged to support the families of the victims in burying their loved ones.

Limpopo Transport Department spokesperson Joel Seabi: “The memorial service is going on today at 12 noon. We have MECs for transport and community safety, who are going to address the people. The memorial service will be held at Ga-Rapitsi, which is where most of the victims come from.”

Forty-two people died in Limpopo roads during the long weekend.

On Tuesday, Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula met with traffic officers in Polokwane and lashed out at reckless drivers causing fatal accidents on the roads.