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Tuesday, 02 April 2024 22:26

Bodies of victims of a bus crash to be repatriated by end of week |Phaahla.

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.


Minister of Health Joe Phaahla says the process of identifying and repatriating bodies from the deadly Limpopo bus crash is set to begin soon.

Phaahla was speaking at a media briefing in Limpopo on Tuesday afternoon.

The deceased were travelling from neighbouring Botswana to St Engenas in Moria, to attend the ZCC's 100th anniversary and annual Easter service.

The survivor of the bus accident, an eight-year-old child, is doing well in the hospital and should be released shortly, according to Phaahla.

"We only have one 8-year-old survivor who we are very happy is doing well. Very soon, she will be discharged and able to go back home.

"As the government of South Africa, we are doing everything possible to make sure that the families of those who have departed get closure as speedily as possible. The team is working hard, doing everything humanly possible with all the technology available to complete the required postmortems."

"Those who have already been identified and are just waiting for final legally required formal victim identification will be ready to be repatriated by tomorrow once all the procedures, including for the remains to be taken back to their country, have been completed."

He praised Dr Phophi Ramathuba, the Limpopo MEC for health, and the police for their prompt handling of the incident.

Ramathuba corrected a mistake in the department's report indicating that about nine bodies could be identified.

She continued by saying that they are exerting a lot of effort to get to number 45, which the bus owner and the border management provided for them.

Even though the ninth body was complete, according to Ramathuba, the pathologists were unable to recognise it when they saw it.

"We are talking about a scientific process; the number can change as they advance in the number of studies; maybe during the DNA process it will give us another number," she said.

Phaahla has also conveyed his condolences to the families of the bus crash victims. 

The ZCC which has its headquarters in Moria, this year was for the first time that its Easter pilgrimage went ahead since the Covid-19 pandemic.