The driver of a bakkie that rolled on Ou Kaapse Weg, claiming the lives of 10 men on Saturday, told the front-seat passengers the brakes were not working.
This is according to investigating officer, Detective Constable Kenelo Telezana.
Detective Constable Telezana said the men were completing a job in Fish Hoek for a steel-works company and were working late as they were behind schedule.
The accident happened in the early hours of Saturday morning and a further 14 people were injured and taken to Groote Schuur Hospital. The driver is among them and under police guard.
Constable Telezana confirmed the dead were all men. Three were from Lesotho, one from Zimbabwe and six were South Africans.
They had been en route to Dunoon, Khayelitsha and Atlantis.
Their names cannot be released as their next of kin have not been informed.
Western Cape traffic chief, Kenny Africa, said the bakkie had been carrying 23 passengers at the time of the crash, at around 1.30am, while approaching Steenberg.
Transport MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela has called for a “thorough and swift investigation”.
Mr Madikizela visited the injured workers in hospital on Sunday and conveyed his condolences to the families who have lost loved ones.
He said he was “deeply saddened” by what had happened.
“Information found on the cause of this crash must be used to improve road safety and avoid a recurrence. One life lost is one too many,” he said.
Provincial police spokesman Lieutenant Colonel André Traut said police were investigating a case of culpable homicide.
Arrive Alive spokesperson, Layton Beard, told the Cape Argus that construction companies and drivers should not be flippant when it came to the lives of workers.
“We are deeply concerned that all too often there
are still people standing or seated on the back of bakkies and on top of the sidewalls of bakkies.
“This practice is completely unlawful, and yet it (policing) is rarely enforced.
“There are regulations in place that state the number of people that should be seated behind a bakkie, and we are utterly
shocked that so many people
were in that bakkie, which also seemed like it didn’t have a canopy.
“We are calling for a full investigation because someone, either the company or the driver, needs to account for this tragic accident,” said Mr Beard.