At least 13 people were killed and four were injured in the early hours of Saturday morning when two minibus taxis crashed head-on on the R57 outside Reitz, in the Free State.
Police spokesperson Brigadier Motantsi Makhele labelled the accident scene as “horrible”.
Both drivers and 11 passengers died at the scene of the accident.
“At about 1am police attended a horrible accident on the R57 between Reitz and Petrus Steyn road together with emergency medical services,” said Makhele.
Makhele said one of the vehicles was a white VW Crafter which was on its way to Gauteng from Ficksburg.
The second minibus was a Toyota Quantum which was heading to Fouriesburg from Pretoria. It had 11 passengers inside.
“Four passengers were taken to Dihlabeng and Nketoana hospitals for medical treatment after sustaining serious injuries,” said Makhele.
He added that all 13 of the deceased died immediately.
A case of culpable homicide is being investigated.
Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula said he was “deeply saddened by the tragic crash”.
“Loss of life on our roads is a tragedy we must all work towards curtailing. It is only through collective effort, that includes responsible behaviour by motorists, effective law enforcement, and innovative engineering solutions in road design by government, that we will arrest the carnage on our roads,” he said.
24 injured in another collision
In another accident scene, 24 people were injured in a collision involving three minibuses and a car on the R30 between Bothaville and Orkney.
Arrive Alive said 20 injured passengers were taken to the Nala District Hospital in Bothaville. The four other injured passengers were taken to Klerksdorp Hospital.