TWELVE people died on Thursday night on N1 near Botlokwa after a minibus taxi collided head-on with a truck.
The fatal accident, which left locals traumatised, occurred a few meters away from the newly-constructed multi-million state-of-the-art bridge that was handed over by President Jacob Zuma two weeks ago.
It is understood that the driver of the minibus taxi lost control of his vehicle when he was attempting to avoid a stray donkey that was roaming in his lane.
After knocking the animal, he tried to swerve into the right lane and he collided with the lorry.
According to police reports, three people died on the scene after they were burnt beyond recognition. Three other people were taken to Botlokwa Hospital for treatment.
Provincial police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe said the deceased were yet to be identified. Forensic pathologists were currently trying to identify them.
“The other two are currently recuperating at hospitals from serious injuries. The cause of the accident is not yet known at the moment but our investigations are going on. Anyone who can assist in the identification of the deceased may go to the Botlokwa police station to see Captain Nkuna,” Ngoepe said.
For many years, the N1 highway near Botlokwa has been notorious for fatal accidents, forcing government officials, religious leaders and traditional healers to perform rituals in a desperate bid to curb these accidents.