By Adele van der Linde

  • Survivors’ Testimonies: Malesela Makafola (74) and Maleka Ramashala (61) recount their harrowing experience surviving a bus crash between Limpopo and Mpumalanga in December 2023, which claimed seven lives. Despite injuries, they express gratitude for surviving the ordeal, crediting divine intervention for their safety.
  • Bus Accident Details: The accident occurred on the R37 in the winding Long Tom pass, with the bus rolling down a ravine. Malesela recalls warning the driver about the speed through the turns but to no avail. Despite the terrifying experience, both survivors emphasize the power of prayer during the ordeal.
  • Resilience and Participation: Despite their injuries and the trauma of the accident, both Malesela and Maleka remain active and resilient. They are participating fully in the Golden Games for Team Limpopo, showcasing their determination to move forward positively despite the challenges they faced.

“God was with us on that day”. The words of Malesela Makafola (74) and Maleka Ramashala (61) who survived a harrowing bus crash that occurred between Limpopo and Mpumalanga on 8th December 2023, that claimed the lives of 7 people. “Yet here we are. We are fine”, says Malesela, who suffered a head and arm injury in the accident and had to climb up a steep embankment to the main road, after the bus they were travelling in rolled down a ravine. Maleka also suffered a head injury but was discharged after a couple of hours.

The two were travelling with other congregants of their local Lutheran church, between Mokopane and Sabie on the R37 when the accident occurred in the winding Long Tom pass. “The driver was driving too fast through the winding turns and I warned him about it, but I was asked not to interfere”, he says. “The next moment, the bus went into a turn and just kept going straight. As the bus was rolling, we just prayed”, they relate.

The two are thankful that some nurses were the first on the scene and could assist the injured. Malesela says he had passed out after a knock to the head and when he came to, there was absolute chaos. “Some bystanders threw ropes down the ravine so that those who could still move, could get to the top of the ravine.

Both of them continue to lead active lifestyles despite the traumatic incident and are participating fully in the Golden Games for Team Limpopo.

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