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26 killed in South Africa road accidents

By Ians English

South Africa
Cape Town, Nov 23: At least 26 people were killed in two separate road accidents in South Africa on Friday, authorities said.

At least 15 people were killed and several others injured when a minibus crashed into a stationary truck in KwaZulu-Natal province' Umkomaas town, Xinhua reported citing Netcare 911, an emergency service. Three of the injured are in critical condition, it said.

The driver of the minibus lost control, while going downhill and the vehicle crashed through a fence and collided with the lorry parked by the roadside, Netcare 911 spokesperson Zinhle Mngomezulu said.

The driver sustained minor injuries and was arrested.

In another accident, a bus crashed into a passenger car in Makhado town in Limpopo province, killing 11 people and injuring 47 others, six of them critically and 11 seriously.

Five of the deceased were in the car, while six were in the bus, according to the Limpopo roads and transport department.

The bus driver was blamed for the accident as he reportedly overtook on the barrier line.

The two accidents followed the country's worst road carnage in decades near Pretoria on Nov 11, which killed 29 people and injured 30 others.

Following Friday's accident in Limpopo province, President Jacob Zuma urged law enforcement authorities to promote road safety through visible enforcement.

"We urge road users, especially drivers, to take extra care and exercise utmost vigilance on the road. They must obey the rules of the road at all times as they are the custodians of the lives of our people on the roads. We cannot continue losing people in this manner," Zuma said.

The government currently is enforcing a 'drive safely' campaign designed to curb road carnages, particularly during the upcoming festive season in the country, which is notorious for road accidents.

According to the latest WHO data published in 2011, road traffic accidents deaths in South Africa reached 8,646 or 1.45 percent of total deaths. The age adjusted death rate is 20.17 per 100,000 of population.

Official figures show that drunken driving and excessive speed were "common denominators" in many of the fatal crashes.


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