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Johannesburg – Mmametlhake Police near Kwamhlanga, in Mpumalanga, has called for help in locating the driver of a car that caused a crash that left nine pupils dead and 18 injured 46 years ago.
Although the incident happened in 1965, the survivors of the crash who are now pensioners and live with horrific injuries, opened a case this past Wednesday.
According to Mpumalanga Police spokesperson Brigadier Leonard Hlathi, they are investigating a case of culpable homicide as well as failure to stop after an accident.
Hlathi said information at their disposal was that on May 1 1965, 27 pupils aged between 18 and 19 from Nkotolane Primary School in Mmamethlake were part of a music competition earlier in Pankop where they had scooped a trophy.
“These learners were reportedly ferried in a truck and were dropped next to their school where parents were jubilantly waiting to receive them. ”Information at police’s disposal indicates that as they were busy alighting from the truck, a certain bakkie with two occupants appeared driving at a high speed and plunged into them resulting in some sustaining serious injuries whilst nine of them sadly died.“
The driver is alleged to have continued driving after the crash.
Hlathi said the injured victims were then taken to various nearby hospitals and some stayed there for more than two years, with doctors and nurses tending to their horrific injuries.
“All the victims are now pensioners and still having terrible scars in their bodies alleged to have been caused by the accident.
“Details on what exactly transpired regarding the incident as well as the whereabouts of the one who was driving the bakkie remains part of the probe.
“Police in this regard make a clarion call to members of the public with valuable information that can assist in this case to come forward. They also request Mr Koos Engelbrecht whom they believe can assist in this probe to urgently contact them.
“Engelbrecht is said to have been previously resided around Nylstroom/Modimolle in Limpopo Province and anyone who knows his whereabouts is urged to contact the Investigating Officer, Captain Solomon Moshime at 082 065 1355 or call the Crime Stop number at 0860 010 111. Alternatively, members of the public can send information via MYSAPSAPP. All received information will be treated as confidential,” Hlathi said.