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11 dead in SA Roadlink accident

At 0030 on the morning of 16 Dec 2008, 11 people lost their lives in an accident involving an SA Roadlink bus. The accident occurred on the southbound side of the N2 highway near Hibberdene. The SA Roadlink bus hit the truck it was trying to overtake, whereafter the bus driver lost control and veered into the northbound lanes of the highway, where a head-on collission occurred with a Toyota Camry. Five occupants of the SA Roadlink bus and all 6 occupants of the Toyota Camry (a family on their way to Port Shepstone from Durban) died in the accident. The SA Roadlink bus was travelling from the southern Cape to Durban via the Eastern Cape (Kokstad).

SA Roadlink bus & Toyota Camry involved in accident

The deceased

Those in the bus who died were Steven Brookes, Komrad Brookes, Mr LA Ndebele, Nonkululo Talatala and a female whose details have yet to be released. The family (from Empangeni) who were driving in the Toyota Camry who died were Jerimiah Buthelezi, his wife Thabelikile Buthelezi and their children Thabiso Buthelezi, Njabilo Buthelezi, Siabongo Buthelezi and Malusi Buthelezi (5 died instantly, the 6th died in hospital).

The injured

Those injured on the bus were David Nkala, Penelope Dlothi, C Mzuvekile, Leanne Brookes, Samantha Brookes, and Abdool Osman.

Bus driver facing charges

The driver of the SA Roadlink bus, Stefanus Baartman, appeared in court in Umzumbe on Wednesday the 17th December 2008. He was charged with 11 counts of culpable homicide and released on a R500 bail.

SA Roadlink's licence

On the 17th December 2008, Bheki Cele (KwaZulu-Natal Transport MEC) announced that SA Roadlink's licence had been withdrawn, pending the outcome of the investigation into the accident: "We withdraw all concurrencies granted to SA Roadlink to operate in this province pending finalisation of investigation. They stop operating here come Friday midnight."

However, on the 19th December 2008 Judge Isaac Madondo awarded SA Roadlink an interim court order stopping Bheki Cele from suspending its operating licence, as Cele had not provided the court with evidence that there would be further accidents. Cele must file replying papers by the 28th December 2008, and the matter will be argued in court on the 8th January 2009.

SA Roadlink are building up a track record

This accident follows on the heels of a series of incidents which SA Roadlink has been involved in, including:

12 Dec 2008

Intercape's lawyers write a letter to the authorities arguing that SA Roadlink is illegally transporting passengers on its Pretoria - Cape Town route.

28 Jun 2008

An SA Roadlink bus on its way from Johannesburg to East London, and is involved in an accident with a Nissan double cab and a BMW.

3 Jun 2008

Over 50 people are injured when an SA Roadlink bus crashes near Marianhill toll plaza.

26 Nov 2007

3 die when an SA Roadlink bus and a bakkie crash near Plettenberg Bay.

24 Dec 2006

12 die when an SA Roadlink bus crashes into a bridge on the N3 near Pietermaritzburg.


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