TWELVE Lesotho nationals were killed when their mini-bus collided with another in the early hours of Saturday in South Africa.
The accident is said to have occurred on the stretch of road between Petrus Steyn and Reitz in the Free State province.
The deceased were among 15 people who were travelling from Pretoria to Lesotho for the Christmas holiday when tragedy struck. There were only three survivors, all of them Lesotho nationals.
News of the accident was communicated to the nation in a televised broadcast by Communications, Science and Technology Minister Samuel Rapapa last night.
“Unfortunately, twelve Lesotho nationals have lost their lives in an accident in South Africa,” Mr Rapapa said.
“There were only three survivors out of the 15 Basotho who were travelling from Pretoria to Lesotho. The drivers of the two vehicles also perished.
“The government is saddened by this tragedy and loss of lives. We would like to pass condolences to the bereaved families and the nation at large.”
Among the deceased were a woman and her husband, the minister said. He said the three survivors were all women who lost their husbands in the horrific accident. The survivors were currently receiving treatment at hospitals in Bethlehem and Bloemfontein, he added.
Mr Rapapa appealed to the public to be vigilant on the road and not to drive under the influence of alcohol. He also appealed to motorists to avoid driving at night.