Three separate accidents have claimed eight lives and left four people seriously injured in Mpumalanga over the weekend.
The fatal accidents involved five light motor vehicles and a bakkie.
The first incident took place around 21:00 on Saturday, involving a VW Polo and a Kia sedan.
Four people lost their lives when the two vehicles collided head-on along the R568 Road between Siyabuswa and Kameelrivier.
Mpumalanga Community Safety, Security and Liaison spokesperson Moeti Mmusi said the deceased were all men and included both drivers and their passengers.
“They are aged between 22 and 30. No other injuries were reported. [They] were declared dead at the scene. The cause of the collision remains unclear. It is suspected that one of the drivers lost control and veered onto the oncoming traffic,” Mmusi said.
The second accident took place outside White River shortly after midnight on Sunday, along the R538 road, when a bakkie collided with a light motor vehicle.
ER24 spokesperson Russel Meiring said paramedics and other services arrived on the scene and found the bakkie on the side of the road, while the light motor vehicle was in the middle of the road.
“On closer inspection, medics found the driver of the bakkie lying inside his vehicle. Unfortunately, the man had already succumbed to his injuries. Nothing could be done for him, and he was declared dead.
“The driver of the other car was assessed and found to have sustained moderate injuries. The man was treated and transported to a nearby hospital. Local authorities were on the scene for further investigations,” said Meiring.
The third crash happened around 02:00 on Sunday along the R538 road outside White River.
A VW Polo collided head-on with a Mazda Sting and three people aged between 25 and 35 died at the scene.
The VW Polo was travelling from the direction of Mshadza Trust while the other vehicle was coming from the White River direction when they collided.
The deceased include the driver of the Mazda Sting and two passengers from the Polo.
Three seriously injured people were transported to Themba Hospital in Kabokweni. They included the driver of the Polo as well as one passenger from each vehicle.
The preliminary investigations suggest that fatigue may have led to the collisions.
MEC Vusi Shongwe urged motorists to obey the law and use the road with great caution.
“We cannot lose lives needlessly on the road due to negligence and recklessness of some drivers. Motorists must obey the rules all the time to avoid these crashes. Those who are guilty of reckless and negligent driving must be punished and our law enforcers should not show any leniency to those who break the law and endanger the lives of other people,” Shongwe said.