Limpopo Health Department Prepares for Repatriation As 42 Victims Identified From Tragic Accident

Limpopo Health Department Prepares for Repatriation As 42 Victims Identified From Tragic Accident

  • The Department of Health in Limpopo has confirmed the identification of 42 victims through DNA processes
  • A multidisciplinary team, comprising members from the police's victim identification unit and forensic pathology services, have been involved in the repatriation preparations
  • Limpopo Health MEC Phophi Ramathuba expressed her deep gratitude towards the team for their professionalism and swift handling of the tragic accident

Trisha Pillay is a Briefly News current affairs journalist in Johannesburg. For 13 years, she has devoted her professional life to covering social issues and community news, sharing her expertise with newsrooms like The Citizen newspaper, African News Network, and Newzroom Afrika. Do you have a hard news story you would like to share? Email with CA in the subject line.

Limpopo health MEC leads repatriation process to Botswana.
The Limpopo health department is nearing the final stages of the repatriation process for 42 identified victims. Images: @PhophiRamathuba
Source: Twitter

LIMPOPO - The Limpopo health department has made significant strides in the aftermath of a tragic bus crash that claimed the lives of 45 lives over the Easter weekend.

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42 victims identified

According to the Sowetan, the department confirmed that up to 42 human remains, which includes the six that were identifiable, have been positively identified through DNA processes.

Limpopo health MEC Phophi Ramathuba said:

"The multidisciplinary team, comprising members of the police's victim identification unit and forensic pathology services, will meet on Monday at Mokopane Hospital to finalise the packaging of the remains of the deceased to prepare them for repatriation.”
“We are short of words to appreciate our team for the professionalism and speed at which they managed to handle this disaster, appreciating its sensitivity."

The accident occurred on 28 March when a bus carrying members of the St Engenas Zion Christian Church from Molepolole in Botswana veered off the road and fell nearly 50m off the Mmamatlakala Bridge on the R518.

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Little girl, the sole survivor

The only survivor of the crash, an eight-year-old girl who lost her grandmother in the tragedy, has since returned home after receiving medical care.

The department will convene with the team on Monday to discuss further updates and plans regarding the remaining victims. The remaining samples are currently undergoing final analysis, which means the repatriation process is near completion.

What you need to know about the Limpopo crash

  • The accident claimed 45 lives as members of the Zion Christian Church travelled from Botswana to Limpopo for their annual pilgrimage.
  • Out of the tragic accident, only a little girl survived and has since been discharged and reunited with her family.
  • Limpopo health authorities have been collaborating with Botswana to identify the victims of the tragic accident.

Mzansi sends well wishes.

People throughout the country have sent love to all the families who tragically lost their loved ones over the Easter weekend. At the same time, people from Botswana praised South Africa for a job well done.

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Here are some of the reactions:

@Tarby Sami said:

"May their souls rest in peace."

@Mmoloki Raymond Alfred Jacob commented:

"This really calls for closure it wasnt an easy job we as a nation of Botswana thanks you Mzansi."

@Gaontebale Ramaphane praised:

"South Africa is still showing us that they are our big brother ,they have been holding our hands during this horrific time."

@Morata Morata saddened:

"My heart is still painful. I'm sorry for our brother and sisters from Botswana RIP."

@Lorraine Chipana shared:

"I sympathize with those families..May those affected find a way to heal and may those who departed rest in peace."

8 die in Limpopo crash between truck and bus

In a similar story, Briefly News reported about a bus and a truck that collided in Limpopo on 18 April 2024, resulting in the deaths of eight people.

The bus driver lost control and crashed into the truck transporting workers of a local company home.

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The Limpopo Transport Department's spokesperson, Tidimalo Chuene, noted increased bus accidents in the province.

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Source: Briefly News

Trisha Pillay avatar

Trisha Pillay (Weekend current affairs editor) Trisha Pillay is a Current Affairs writer at Briefly News. She has a degree in Journalism from the University of Johannesburg and an Honours degree in International Politics from UNISA. She joined ENCA straight out of varsity and completed an internship at the channel. Pillay later went on to cover politics, crime, entertainment, and current affairs at the Citizen Newspaper. She joined Newzroom Afrika in 2019 and became a senior bulletin editor for shows focused on politics and current affairs on the channel. She joined Briefly News in 2023. You can contact her at

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