THE government recently held a funeral service for the 16 people who were killed in a horrific car accident three weeks ago at Ha-Makoanyane, in the Mafeteng district amid calls by several speakers for the government to improve the state of roads in the district.
Ten people died on the spot on 4 June at Ha-Makoanyane in Ribaneng when the driver of the vehicle they travelling in lost control and the car plunged down a cliff. Another six passengers later died in hospital.
The vehicle had 36 passengers in all and some of them were reported to have been critically injured in the accident.
The driver only suffered minor injuries and he was treated and discharged from hospital on the 5th of June.
The government held a funeral service for the accident victims on the grounds of Ribaneng High School on Friday.
The Minister of Home Affairs, Tsukutlane Au, consoled the families of the deceased.
Mr Au said after apart from the funeral service, the government provided cash and material assistance to the families of the deceased.
Each of the 16 families was given M3000 worth of groceries, a coffin worth M3000 and M800 to transport the corpse.
Mr Au further said that the Minister of Social Development Matebatso Doti and the Deputy Minister of Public Works and Transport T?ehlo Ramarou will liaise with the affected families to decide on further assistance for them.
“The Minister of Social Development will assist with grants for the eligible families and school bursaries for children. The Ministry of Public works will help in facilitating third party insurance claims for the injured passengers,” Mr Au said.
Other speakers raised various concerns including the need to rehabilitate the roads as well as punitive measures for reckless driving.
Maliepetsana legislator Mpalipali Molefe said the tragic accident should push the government to tar and rehabilitate roads in Ribaneng and the surrounding areas.
“The public complained when we were leveling this road in preparation of the funeral service, saying we should have left it in its poor state so that the ministers would experience the poor conditions that the community experiences every day of their lives.
“We therefore appeal to the government to tar the road to prevent such accidents happening. Some areas don’t even have roads and corpses are transported in helicopters for burial,” Mr Molefe said.
Toti Mahloane, a representative of the taxi association, said the accident was caused by a reckless driver who embarked on the journey knowing fully well that the vehicle had a fault with its braking system.
“I have tried to figure what was on that reckless driver’s mind when he decided to risk the lives of people by driving off in the car which had fault. That accident would not have happened if he had been cautious and responsible.
“The government should cancel his driver’s licence because he will kill more people through his recklessness.
“He should drive tractors so that he dies alone in the fields he dies alone and not with other people,” an emotional Mr Mahloane said.