INADEQUATE INVESTIGATIONS AN INJUSTICE TO PUTCO VICTIMS AND FAMILIES

Dr Neil Campbell

DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Roads and Transport

The inadequate mechanisms for investigating tragic bus accidents in Gauteng are an injustice to victims and their relatives. A memorial service for the 19 victims of last week’s horrific Meyeton Putco bus accident is taking place in Sebokeng today.

The South African Police Service (SAPS) and Metro Police across the province must establish an elite unit to investigate accident scenes and report on all probable causes.

The lack of proper road accident forensics adds insult to injury as those left behind either do not receive answers for the terrible loss of life, or have to wait months for a proper explanation. The inability to provide a comprehensive explanation also undermines the efforts of transport operators and law enforcement agencies to prevent incidents such as the Meyerton one from happening again.

I will also be writing to the MEC for Roads and Transport Ismail Vadi to request an independent inquiry into testing center operations and the issuing of roadworthiness certificates within the province.

Bureaucratic red tape and snail-paced procedures in issuing roadworthiness certificates at state-run facilities is a significant obstacle for transport operators. At the same time, corruption and dodgy dealings at some independent and privately operated facilities pose a serious threat to commuter safety.

The provincial government has a responsibility to protect the people of Gauteng on our public roads. It must ensure transparency, accountability and efficiency in issuing roadworthiness certificates and testing vehicles. The provincial government also needs to take the necessary steps to ensure that the relatives of large-scale road accidents receive a decent explanation and have closure on the loss of their loved ones.

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