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‘Unlicenced’ truck driver charged after 8 pupils killed in North West crash

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Rustenburg – A 26-year-old driver of a truck which allegedly veered off road, hit a tree and killed eight pupils in Zeerust will appear in court, North West police said on Tuesday.

Spokesperson Brigadier Sabata Mokgwabone said the driver would face charges of culpable homicide, reckless and / or negligent driving and driving without driver’s licence. He was expected to appear in the Lehurutshe Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.

“The suspect’s court appearance follows his apprehension on Monday, 21 October 2019, after he failed [to] produce the licence. It came out during [the] investigation that the suspect was a learner driver and that he had at the time of the incident, learner’s licence. [The] investigation into the matter continues,” said Mokgwabone.

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Six boys died at the scene and one in hospital and another one died at the Bophelong Hospital in Mahikeng, bringing the death toll to eight.

The boys from three schools in Rietpan were returning home after a soccer game in Borakalalo when the accident occurred between Lobatla and Driefontein.

The soccer game was organised by the local teams and not the schools.

A memorial serviced for the deceased boys was planned for Thursday at Letlhakane Primary School in Rietpan.

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The North West provincial government said it was committed to providing the possible assistance to all those that have been affected by the accident and after further interaction with the families of the deceased.

The deceased learners are Mpho Motsusi, 12, Goitseone Marumo, 14, Oratile Motswiri, 13, and Kgatliso Motswakae, 11, from Letlhakane Primary School. The deceased learners from Ratsela Middle School are Thapelo Sebogo, 15, and Otsile Gogontle Sebaeng, 14. Khumo Matshogo, 14, was from Mmajane Secondary School.

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