“Twenty people have been killed in this accident,” said Captain Malcolm Pojie, saying the taxis were travelling to Cape Town from the Eastern Cape when they crashed at around 1:20 am (2320 GMT) in the Western Cape.
“The first taxi hit a truck that was stationary on the side of the road. … Its trailer apparently hit the rear side of the truck, causing the driver to lose control, and the taxi overturned,” Pojie said.
“Sixteen people were killed in that specific taxi.”
Shortly afterwards, another four people were killed when a second minibus taxi crashed into the side of the truck.
“According to my people on the scene, the truck was partially parked in the road. It seems like it ran out of diesel perhaps,” Pojie told AFP.
Nine people were injured with one person in a serious condition, and a culpable homicide docket was opened.