The scene of the accident on the N1 between Musina and Louis Trichardt last Thursday. Two members of the SANDF passed away following the crash. Photo: SAPS
Date: 26 December 2016 By: Isabel Venter
The upcoming festive weekend got off to a tragic start, with two gruesome accidents that claimed the lives of five people.
In the first accident, two members of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) passed away last Thursday when their military truck collided with two other trucks on the N1 between Musina and Louis Trichardt.
According to the SANDF’s spokesperson, Mr Siphiwe Dlamini, there were three members in the truck at the time of the accident. They were busy with a routine scheduled logistic run from Musina to the Army Support Base (ASB) in Polokwane to collect rations for the battalion deployed under Operation Corona in Musina. Dlamini confirmed that the Musina police are still investigating the exact cause of the accident.
Provincial police spokesperson Brig Motlafela Mojapelo confirmed that the accident happened about 46km from Louis Trichardt near the Huntleigh turn-off. According to him, two trucks, of which one included the military truck, were travelling in a southern direction when a third truck, travelling in the opposite direction, lost control and collided with the two trucks. “All civilian members who were involved in the accident suffered minor injuries with no fatalities,” said Dlamini.
One of the SANDF members was declared dead on the accident scene. A second SANDF member was rushed to the hospital in Musina, but passed away en route. “The third member was stabilised by the medical team at the hospital, and was airlifted to 1 Military Hospital in Pretoria the same day for further medical treatment,” confirmed Dlamini.
In another accident over the weekend, three people were killed when the bakkie they were travelling in crashed into the Madzhemani River. According to police information, Sylvester Thulari (32) was carrying four passengers and crossing the Madzhemani Bridge, when he lost control and crashed into the river on Saturday. It is suspected that the bakkie capsized in the water. Thulari and two of his passengers, Norman Muoneleli Ndou (32) and Dakalo Mukondeleli (37) drowned. Their bodies were recovered on Sunday by the police’s search and rescue divers.
The two remaining passengers, Tshilisanani Sithaba (28) and another unknown male escaped unhurt.
Isabel joined the Zoutpansberger and Limpopo Mirror in 2009 as a reporter. She holds a BA Degree in Communication Sciences from the University of South Africa. Her beat is mainly crime and court reporting.