Govt holds funeral ser­vice for ac­ci­dent vic­tims

Sunday Express - - NEWS - Lim­pho Sello

THE gov­ern­ment re­cently held a funeral ser­vice for the 16 peo­ple who were killed in a hor­rific car ac­ci­dent three weeks ago at HaMakoanyane, in the Mafeteng dis­trict amid calls by sev­eral speak­ers for the gov­ern­ment to im­prove the state of roads in the dis­trict.

Ten peo­ple died on the spot on 4 June at HaMakoanyane in Riba­neng when the driver of the ve­hi­cle they trav­el­ling in lost con­trol and the car plunged down a cliff. Another six pas­sen­gers later died in hospi­tal.

The ve­hi­cle had 36 pas­sen­gers in all and some of them were re­ported to have been crit­i­cally in­jured in the ac­ci­dent.

The driver only suf­fered mi­nor in­juries and he was treated and dis­charged from hospi­tal on the 5th of June.

The gov­ern­ment held a funeral ser­vice for the ac­ci­dent vic­tims on the grounds of Riba­neng High School on Fri­day.

The Min­is­ter of Home Af­fairs, Tsukut­lane Au, con­soled the fam­i­lies of the de­ceased.

Mr Au said af­ter apart from the funeral ser­vice, the gov­ern­ment pro­vided cash and ma­te­rial as­sis­tance to the fam­i­lies of the de­ceased.

Each of the 16 fam­i­lies was given M3000 worth of gro­ceries, a cof­fin worth M3000 and M800 to trans­port the corpse.

Mr Au fur­ther said that the Min­is­ter of So­cial De­vel­op­ment Mate­batso Doti and the Deputy Min­is­ter of Pub­lic Works and Trans­port Tšehlo Ra­marou will li­aise with the af­fected fam­i­lies to de­cide on fur­ther as­sis­tance for them.

“The Min­is­ter of So­cial De­vel­op­ment will as­sist with grants for the el­i­gi­ble fam­i­lies and school bur­saries for chil­dren. The Min­istry of Pub­lic works will help in fa­cil­i­tat­ing third party in­sur­ance claims for the in­jured pas­sen­gers,” Mr Au said.

Other speak­ers raised var­i­ous con­cerns in­clud­ing the need to re­ha­bil­i­tate the roads as well as puni­tive mea­sures for reck­less driv­ing.

Maliepet­sana leg­is­la­tor Mpali­pali Molefe said the tragic ac­ci­dent should push the gov­ern­ment to tar and re­ha­bil­i­tate roads in Riba­neng and the sur­round­ing ar­eas.

“The pub­lic com­plained when we were lev­el­ing this road in prepa­ra­tion of the funeral ser­vice, say­ing we should have left it in its poor state so that the min­is­ters would ex­pe­ri­ence the poor con­di­tions that the com­mu­nity ex­pe­ri­ences every day of their lives.

“We there­fore ap­peal to the gov­ern­ment to tar the road to pre­vent such ac­ci­dents hap­pen­ing. Some ar­eas don’t even have roads and corpses are trans­ported in he­li­copters for burial,” Mr Molefe said.

Toti Mahloane, a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the taxi as­so­ci­a­tion, said the ac­ci­dent was caused by a reck­less driver who em­barked on the jour­ney know­ing fully well that the ve­hi­cle had a fault with its brak­ing sys­tem.

“I have tried to fig­ure what was on that reck­less driver’s mind when he de­cided to risk the lives of peo­ple by driv­ing off in the car which had fault.

“That ac­ci­dent would not have hap­pened if he had been cau­tious and re­spon­si­ble.

“The gov­ern­ment should can­cel his driver’s li­cence be­cause he will kill more peo­ple through his reck­less­ness.

“He should drive trac­tors so that he dies alone in the fields and not with other peo­ple,” an emo­tional Mr Mahloane said.

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