S.African president sends condolences after bus crash kills 45Fri, 29 Mar 2024 13:27:44 GMT

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa expressed his condolences on Friday over an Easter bus crash that only an eight-year-old girl survived out of 46 people on board.She had been admitted to hospital after Thursday’s crash but did not suffer serious injury.Police have said they are investigating a case of culpable homicide, with the driver among the dead after allegedly losing control.The accident occurred when the bus plunged off a bridge into a ravine and caught fire in the north of the country.It was travelling from neighbouring Botswana to Moria, where an Easter pilgrimage and service have attracted more than a million worshippers in recent years.Ramaphosa “conveyed his condolences to the Republic of Botswana and to the family and friends of the 45 bus crash victims”, the president’s office said.Transport ministry media officer Vongani Chauke, told AFP family members were “coming to the country to visit the surviving girl”.”She’s fine, receiving medical attention and does not have serious injuries,” he said. According to police 34 bodies have been found but only nine  were identifiable with many burnt beyond recognition. The authorities continue to search for the remaining 11. South African police confirmed that 15 males and 31 females on board were Botswana citizens travelling from Molepolole village, 60 kilometres (40 miles) northwest of the capital Gaborone.It plunged off a major bridge linking two hillsides near Mmamatlakala in Limpopo province, around 300 kilometres (190 miles) north of Johannesburg.The transport minister has promised a full inquiry.The governments in Botswana and South Africa have vowed to work together throughout, Ramaphosa said after a phone call with Botswanan President Mokgweetsi Masisi.The president of Estonia, Alar Karis, took to X to extend “heartfelt condolences” to Masisi adding that he was “deeply saddened by the news”.The Turkish embassy in Gaborone said on X its “thoughts are with the families affected by this tragedy”.While South Africa has one of the African continent’s most developed road networks, it also suffers from one of the worst safety records.Major road accidents are common during Easter weekend and the festive season in December.