STEVEN MVULA, Lusaka
THE Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) has constituted a team of investigators to be dispatched to South Africa to help establish what caused an accident in which four people died.
RTSA head of public relations Fredrick Mubanga said in an interview yesterday that Zambia’s High Commissioner to South Africa, Emmanuel Mwamba, has communicated with the agency asking it to investigate passengers’ complaints regarding the Jitotwe bus.
“Firstly, the agency and its chief executive officer Mr Zindaba Soko express their condolences to the families of those who died. I spoke to the High Commissioner this morning and as soon as we receive the official communication, we will dispatch a team of investigators to South Africa to jointly investigate the cause of the accident,” Mr Mubanga said.
He said the passengers and the owners of the bus will be interviewed regarding the circumstances which led to the fatal accident.
“We always want operators to take a leading role in ensuring road safety,” Mr Mubanga said.
On Sunday, four people died on the spot in South Africa in a road traffic accident involving a Jitotwe bus owned by Lukomo General Dealers.
Five others are in a critical condition and have been admitted to medical facilities in South Africa’s Limpopo Province.
And in a statement issued yesterday by press secretary at the Zambian High Commission in South Africa Nicky Shabolyo, Mr Mwamba said the passengers have complained to his office alleging that the Jitotwe bus was not road worthy at the time of departure.
Some passengers also claimed that they bought tickets for InterCape Bus Services but were dispatched on a Jitotwe bus.
And Mr Mwamba said management of the bus company has sent a second bus to transport the discharged passengers back to Zambia.
Police reports indicate that the bus travelling from Johannesburg to Lusaka flipped onto the side of the road as the driver tried to avoid an object ahead of him.
The accident involving a bus carrying 44 passengers happened around midnight on Saturday in Louis Trichardt town, just before Beitbridge.
Those who died have been identified as Memory Kainga and her daughter, Taonga Mwale. Angel Kunda, the conductor of the bus, was also killed in the accident. The fourth deceased person has been identified as a Congolese.