THE SOUTH AFRICAN Police Services (SAPS) is appealing to anyone who might help in the identification of 11 of the 12 people suspected to be Zimbabweans who died in a car crash outside Polokwane last Thursday.
The accident occurred on the N1 Highway at Botlokwa around the imaginery Tropic of Capricorn line about 170 kilometres south of Beitbridge town.
One of the deceased was identified to be a Zimbabwean and it is now feared the rest, including three burnt beyond recognition, could all be locals.
SAPS spokesman for Limpopo Province Lieutenant Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe at the weekend, without giving the name of the deceased, appealed to anyone who could help identify.
“Anyone who can assist on the identification of these deceased, may go to Botlokwa Police Station to see Captain Nkuna,” he said.
“One identified is a Zimbabwean national and the process (of identification) is still on,” Ngoepe said.
“We are using all the processes including forencics but we must have an official confirmation of each identity before we can release it publicly.”
He said the owners of the minibus did not retain a copy of the passenger manifest which would have helped identify passengers.
“That taxi association does not have a copy of passenger list,” he said.
It is alleged that last Thursday night between 6pm and 9pm a minibus was travelling from Makhado towards Polokwane when it hit a donkey and the driver lost control subsequently colliding with an oncoming truck.
Eleven people including the minibus driver died on the spot. Three were burnt beyond recognition after the cars burst into flames.
Three injured passengers were taken to a hospital in Polokwane where the other person died.
“The other two victims are still recuperating from hospital with serious injuries,” Ngoepebe said. The truck driver escaped unscathed.
Many Zimbabweans, mostly cross-border traders, flock South Africa to buy cheaper goods for resale back home where buying and selling has become the biggest employer due to unemployment.
About 14 000 people, mostly Zimbabweans, cross to and from South Africa daily through Beitbridge Border Post.