Flag to fly half mast in remembrance of Wits students!

wits death images
Horrific. Wits students and other passengers died a horrific death after the taxi they were traveling burnt into flames in Limpopo.

On Monday night, dozens of students gathered at the School of Governance auditorium to hold a prayer service.

The students died on Sunday night when a minibus they were travelling in crashed into the trailer of a truck that had overturned.

The truck was waiting for assistance when the taxi crashed into the trailer and burst into flames on the N1 highway near the NYL plaza toll-gate, according to Limpopo Traffic Department spokesman Kagiso Mootane.

She said seven people were burnt beyond recognition, and two others died outside the taxi after they were flung from the vehicle.

Wits spokeswoman Shirona Patel said the university had learnt with great sadness about the deaths and injuries of the students.

She said six other students who were injured during the crash were being treated in various hospitals. She added some students suffered broken limbs and might need orthopaedic attention. They would be transferred to Joburg hospitals.

According to a student who had been travelling in a car behind the taxi, it appeared the students were traveling back from a prayer meeting in Limpopo.

Patel said vice-chancellor Professor Adam Habib had travelled to Limpopo with the dean of students and Student Representative Council members.

“The delegation will assist police to identify the students and to notify their next of kin and to support those who are there.”

She said the university’s flag would be lowered to half-mast.

Wits sent its deepest sympathies to the friends and family of the victims.

The accident was among a number of crashes that claimed the lives of at 30 people and left dozens others injured during the long weekend, according to Road Traffic Management Corporation spokesman Simon Zwane.

On Friday, 15 people died in a horrific accident on the R41 in Randfontein. A taxi was allegedly overtaking a truck when the accident occurred. Also on Friday, four people died and 11 were injured when a minibus they were travelling in overturned near Modimolle in Limpopo.

Five people died in the Western Cape when an SUV collided with a sedan on Airport Road in George.

In another accident on Monday morning, two people were killed and three injured when their car rolled several times on the N1 between the Brighton Road and Okavango Road off-ramps in Kraaifontein, Cape Town.

On Sunday morning, two people died in a collision between two vehicles near the Kendal/Balmoral off-ramp on the N12 near Witbank in Mpumalanga.

Earlier on Saturday night, two children under the age of 12 and a woman were killed and several other people critically injured in a minibus taxi crash on the N12.

Zwane said 232 people, including 14 women, were arrested for drunken driving in Joburg over the weekend and were expected in court soon.

Ed Note, our thoughts are with the families and friends affected by this horrific deaths’ of our young academics.

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