A TAXI carrying 16 passengers and a corpse in a trailer was involved in an accident on Thursday, 16 March.
The taxi, which was travelling from Cape Town and heading to Zimbabwe, was travelling on the notorious N1 highway towards Winburg in Free state when a right back tyre burst and the driver lost control, causing the vehicle to overturn.
Sadly, a nine-month-old baby girl lost her life.
One passenger was critically injured and taken to Winburg Hospital, while other passengers suffered minor injuries.
South African National Taxi Council chief strategic manager, Bafana Magagula, said it is within the law to carry a loved one in a taxi as long as proper documentation is available.
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"We find nothing wrong if a taxi carries a dead body in the trailer with correct documents. We verify with the relevant government department before we can decide to travel with a corpse in our public transport. We also check the conditions of the corpse to avoid unnecessary complications," said Magagula.
Magagula said the situation wouldn't affect passengers.
However, the owner of Easy Way Funeral Parlour, Mzimkhulu Sokana, said only undertakers are allowed to transport corpses.
"There is no way public transport can be eligible to do our job. I wish to ask which section of the law allows such. Where were they during the dark days of Covid-19 when undertakers had their hands full with people dying with a high volume? They are regulated by who? The taxi industry must stay away from undertakers' jobs," said Sokana.
Police spokesman, Captain Steven Thakeng, said the police took the corpse to the local mortuary to verify whether it was legitimate to travel or not.
Thakeng also confirmed that a nine-month-old baby girl lost her life during the accident.
"We are investigating a case of culpable homicide. The driver of the taxi had no injuries," he said.