The Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, Sihle Zikalala, expressed condolences following the death of six maidens who died when a taxi overturned and caught fire on Saturday evening on the R33 between Dundee and Pomeroy in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands.
In a statement, Zikalala said the six young women were travelling back from the Reed Dance festival, which they attended, when the accident happened.
Nine others were injured when the minibus taxi they were travelling in crashed and burnt.
Police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Thulani Zwane has since announced that a seventh victim died in hospital.
“We have lost six young lives who had just attended one of our very important cultural ceremonies. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the deceased during this difficult time and we wish all those injured a speedy recovery,” Zikalala said.
The Premier said both the Arts and Culture and Social Development MECs have dispatched senior officials to visit the affected families.
“Our officials will work closely with the affected families to ensure that they receive all the necessary support including professional counselling.”
Zikalala added that Department of Transport would conduct thorough roadworthiness inspections on all buses and taxis that will be transporting maidens to the Reed Dance Festival next month.
Zwane said that a case of culpable homicide was opened at Helpmekaar police station after the taxi overturned and burnt along the R33 road.