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Cyril Ramaphosa sends condolences over fatal bus crash

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa expressed his condolences on Friday over a bus crash that killed 45 of the 46 people on board.

An eight-year-old child was the sole survivor of the crash on Thursday. She has been admitted to hospital.

Investigations are continuing into the accident, which occurred when the bus plunged off a bridge into a ravine and caught fire in the north of the country.

It was travelling from neighbouring Botswana to Moria, where an Easter pilgrimage and service have attracted more than a million worshipers in recent years.

Ramaphosa “conveyed his condolences to the Republic of Botswana and to the family and friends of the 45 bus crash victims”, the president’s office said.

Transport ministry media officer Vongani Chauke, told AFP investigations were continuing.

“There were 12 people who were burnt beyond recognition, so those are the remains of people they are still trying to find at the scene,” Chauke said.

“Family members are coming to the country to visit the surviving girl.

“She’s fine, receiving medical attention and does not have serious injuries.”

Cyril Ramaphosa spoke to Botswana’s president

The bus had a Botswanan licence plate, local authorities said, but the nationalities of the passengers was still being checked.

It plunged off a major bridge linking two hillsides near Mmamatlakala in Limpopo province, around 300km north of Johannesburg.

The transport minister has promised a full inquiry.

The governments in Johannesburg and Gabarone have vowed to work together throughout, Ramaphosa said after a phone call with Botswanan President Mokgweetsi Masisi.

While South Africa has one of the African continent’s most developed road networks, it also suffers from one of the worst safety records.

Major road accidents are common during Easter weekend and the festive season in December.

Meanwhile, Ramaphosa also wished South Africans a safe and happy Easter holiday.

By Garrin Lambley © Agence France-Presse

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