Diaspora Matters

The untold story of cross border bus accidents in South Africa


More than 20  people perished in 2 separate  cross border bus accidents near Polokwane in South Africa  last week. What could be possible  causes of the accidents? Our organisation conducts various entrepreneurship training programs across the region and last week we traveled to South Africa for trainings in South Africa and Botswana.

On the early hours of Monday, we witnessed a Zambian cross border bus accident that claimed the lives of 9 Zambians. We arrived 10 minutes after the accident had happened and witnessed most passengers still trapped inside the overturned bus. The apparent cause of the accident was a burst front tyre . A few days later another bus accident carrying Zimbabweans claimed a similar number of casualties although the cause of the accident is still unknown.

What could be the causes of the bus accidents? It could be mechanical failures such as tyre bursts, human errors such as fatigue or thugs throwing obstacles on the roads in order to cause accidents and steal from hapless accident victims. The latter point maybe true given the timing of accidents and also confirmation of several buses that are being stoned on the N1 road. So bus owners and passengers should be on the look out for deliberate accidents happening in the wee hours on the road. We witnessed several victims being assisted by passersby and there were suspicions of some victims losing possessions such as wallets to ‘helpers’.

So choose carefully the time of travel because travelling during the early morning on this stretch of the road makes you susceptible to possible attacks and accidents.

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