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DITSHWANELO Press statement on the Matsha College students truck accident

DITSHWANELO - The Botswana Centre for Human Rights wishes to express its deep sympathy to the victims’ families and wishes those injured a speedy recovery, following the truck accident on 13 November 2015.

It caused the death of seven (7) students and injured one hundred and twenty-six (126). The deceased and the injured students were aged between fifteen (15) and twenty-two (22). The students, beneficiaries of the Remote Area Development Programme (RADP), were on their way home after completing BGCSE examinations at Matsha College and BOCODOL in Kang.

According to initial investigations, a tyre burst may have caused the accident and the overturning of the truck. Further investigations need to be conducted in order to have a full understanding of the causes of this terrible road accident. Light must also be shed on the reasons why the students were transported in an open truck rather than in a bus.

The Minister of

Education and Skills Development, Unity Dow, confirmed that a policy passed at least 10 years ago provides that students should no longer be transported in open trucks.

The Minister said: ”That policy still stands. It is a standing government policy that students should not be transported by truck, but from time-to-time depending on the situation, the policy may be derailed.” Dow said that truck transportation “depends on a number of things”, e.g. the terrain or the availability of buses.

DITSHWANELO wishes to express serious concern about the flagrant disregard of official ‘truck transportation policy’ which was made with regard to the safety and best interests of students. We trust that those responsible will be held to account.

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