Almost all people who died in Limpopo crash positively identified

The Limpopo department of health has announced that the body remains of those who died in a bus accident have been positively identified, nearly a month after the accident.

Dr Phophi Ramathuba, the MEC for health in Limpopo, announced during a media briefing on Monday that 42 human remains had been positively identified.

Ramathuba claimed that the teams have finished the process and are beginning to package the remains in accordance with the DNA results from the forensic science laboratory unit’s biology section.

“A great deal of progress has been made to expedite these processes with the SAPS [SA Police Service] victim identification unit, biology section of the forensic science laboratory unit, and forensic pathology services,” Ramathuba said.

“To date, we have successfully identified 42 human remains. This means we know 42 names of the people who were in that bus.”

Identification process essential

She stated that the department would not release the names of the deceased before the SAPS notifies their relatives in Botswana.

According to Ramathuba, the identification process was essential because fire damage had rendered many of the dead unidentifiable.

“Like we said in the beginning, we depend on the scientific process to tell us exactly how many people were in that bus and have perished.

“If the number is not satisfactory, we will tell the police to go back and do an investigation,” she said.

The MEC said the department is honouring a promise it made to the government of Botswana and President Cyril Ramaphosa to ensure that the right remains are returned to each family.

Annul ZCC pilgrimage

“Today we are picking up each and every body part and packaging it where it belongs to be able to label them as the human remains of a person.

“After this process, we are expecting the commencement of a death registration. Our home affairs department is here, and they are ready.”

The deceased were travelling from neighbouring Botswana to St Engenas in Moria to attend the Zion Christian Church’s (ZCC) 100th anniversary and annual Easter service in March.

Only an eight-year-old child survived the bus crash. She left the hospital in Limpopo recently to be reunited with her family in Botswana.

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