On Wednesday afternoon, February 16, nine Mpumalanga kids, aged five to thirteen, died after their scholar transport vehicle overturned near the intersection of Mayflower and Dundonald Roads.
A Toyota Quantum transporting 18 students lost control and crashed, according to the Department of Transportation. Initially, it was claimed that eight children had perished and ten more had been injured.
According to TimesLive, the dead toll rose by one on Thursday morning as another learner was discovered near the accident scene.
Mpumalanga police spokesperson Moeti Mmusi told the publication that the ninth body was found after a search involving the police, community and other stakeholders.
“It is believed that the body fell in the river upon impact and was trapped between rocks,” said Mmusi.
The scholar transport driver was arrested a charged with a host of charges, including nine counts of culpable homicide, overloading and operating a non-roadworthy vehicle. He also could not provide an operating license.
The driver is expected to appear before the Elukwatini Magistrate’s Court on Friday, 18 February.
“It is with a great sense of sadness that I learned of the passing of such lives on our roads,” said Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula in a statement on Thursday.
He offered his condolences to the families of the deceased and the children who were injured.
The Transport Department said the cause of the crash is unknown and law enforcement agencies are investigating the matter.