Repatriation of 42 Mokopane bus crash victims ‘to start soon’

Repatriation of 42 Mokopane bus crash victims ‘to start soon’

Limpopo Health MEC Dr Phophi Ramathuba on Monday said forensic pathologists are busy collecting the names of the 42 identified victims of the Limpopo bus crash.

Repatriation of 42 Mokopane bus crash victims ‘to start soon’
Limpopo Health Department

Last week, the department announced that it had identified 42 bodies.

The bus from Botswana plunged off a bridge in Mokopane on Easter weekend, killing 45 people.

Ramathuba said work is also being done to identify the remaining 72 samples collected from the crash site.

"The team has now started the packaging of the deceased's remains in accordance with the DNA results from the biology section of the forensic science laboratory unit, and the process will be concluded today (Monday). 

"This step was necessary as many of the bodies were unidentifiable due to fire damage. The packaging of the human remains for the families identified through scientific processes… will be finalised by the end of today."

"With the spreadsheet that has been brought to us, we have 72 samples because any loose body part, we were taking it for DNA,” she explained. 

"We are committed to making sure that each family receives the correct remains of their loved ones. We are packaging every body part and putting where it belongs for the 42 victims that have been identified through SAPS.”


She said that once the identification process is complete, the Department of Home Affairs will be notified.

Death certificates would then be issued ahead of the repatriation process. 

"These documents are crucial for the National Department of Health to authorise the transportation of the human remains out of the country.

"Once these processes are completed, we will engage with the Botswana government to finalise the documentation of the deceased, allowing the repatriation to commence.”


Ramathuba said the preliminary report into the cause of the crash has already been sent to Transport Minister Sindisiwe Chikunga and President Cyril Ramaphosa.

"From the preliminary report, we were reassured that the bus was in a good state. The road itself was not found to be having challenges, as it has road markings.


"Now, there would be further looking at the contribution of the driver, whether the driver was not aware of himself. We just need to wait for the final report that will be publicised," she added. 


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