Five Limpopo pupils die after hitchhiking home after exams

06 November 2019 - 06:26 By IAVAN PIJOOS
The five pupils are believed to have caught a lift with the driver of this vehicle, which overturned when he lost control.
The five pupils are believed to have caught a lift with the driver of this vehicle, which overturned when he lost control.
Image: Supplied

The Limpopo education department was reeling on Tuesday night after five pupils died in a crash earlier in the day.

All were from the AM Mashego Secondary School, south of Polokwane.

Police spokesperson Brig Motlafela Mojapelo said the female pupils were allegedly hitchhiking next to a filling station when they were given a lift.

The driver of the Nissan NP200 bakkie lost control when approaching the Matrompi Bridge on the R574 between Groblersdal and Mpudulle.

“It rolled several times, instantly killing the five learners and critically injuring the driver and his crew. The injured were taken to hospital,” Mojapelo said.

A case of culpable homicide was opened.

Education MEC Polly Boshielo expressed her deepest sorrow and devastation after hearing about the accident.

“The department learnt today [Tuesday] that the learners, four in grade 10 and one in grade 9, met their untimely death ... after hiking a lift to take them home,” the department said in a statement.

Sending her condolences to the families, Boshielo said: “We are deeply saddened. Our hearts are heavy and we accordingly send our deepest heartfelt condolences to the families of our learners and the school community. This is a very difficult time for all of us, friends and relatives of these learners. We lack the necessary words at this point in time. We must be united in this time of grief.”

The department’s psychosocial unit will provide trauma counselling to pupils, educators, support staff and the bereaved families.


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