Driver transporting pupils flees from minibus accident

The damaged minibus after it hit a lamp-post.

A taxi driver transporting school pupils abandoned the minibus after he drove into a lamp-post in Kuyper Street, District Six, near Trafalgar High School, on Tuesday September 20.

According to Cape Town Central police spokesperson, Captain Ezra October, the driver drove over a cobbled road past Bossuns Walk leading to Kuyper Street, lost control of the taxi and knocked down the lamp-post. “When police came to the scene, the male taxi driver had fled the scene,” he said.

A School Governing Body (SGB) member of Trafalgar High School, Shamiel Abbass, who was doing scholar patrols in the morning, says that there were 35 pupils in the cramped minibus.

He says they were two high school pupils from Vista High in Schotsche Kloof and the rest were from St Paul’s Primary school from Bo-Kaap.

He says this accident occurred around 8am on Tuesday morning. Mr Abbas says that four pupils from St Paul’s primary sustained injuries and were taken to the hospital.

The provincial education spokesperson, Kerry Mauchline says they received an emergency response services report that the school pupils experienced only minor injuries while four pupils were taken to hospital for treatment and X-rays. “The district is engaging with the schools to provide support where needed,”

Ms Mauchline says while the provincial education department is unclear on how the accident was caused, they are urging all parents to make sure that the transport they hire for their children to travel to school is operated in a safe manner according to the law.

A teacher from Vista High, who did not want to be identified, says their two pupils who are in Grade 8 and Grade 9, were unharmed but shaken up by the experience.

“The pupils were picked up from their parents at Trafalgar High School after they got out of the damaged mini-bus,” she says.

The Vista High school teacher says that the parents must practise more caution when they are allowing their children to use private school transport.

The Tatler did reach out to St Paul’s Primary who did not respond to any media questions before publication.

Trafalgar High School principal, Salwa Southgate says her school teachers assisted the pupils by allowing them to wait at the school grounds for their parents and transport to pick them up.

“We called Safeschools, ADT security, and the ambulance came on the scene and there were doctors assessing the pupils,”she says.

Ms Southgate says the children are their top priority and she is glad that her teachers took the initiative to attend to the pupils while they were waiting for their parents to arrive.

The owners of the minibus were on the scene but did not want to comment.

Captain October says that police had interviewed the minibus owners who shared with them the identity of the driver who fled the scene. “The police and minibus owners are still trying to find the driver,” he said.

Captain October says that police is investigating a case of reckless and negligent driving.

Captain October is also urging that all parents who are making use of private transport for their children must ensure that the driver’s have police clearance to transport their children.

The lamp-post on the pavement of Trafalgar High School was knocked down and broken in half.