Former students of a New Zealand woman killed in a horror bus crash in southern Africa have described her as one of the best teachers ever.

Joanne Joss, 64, has been identified as the Kiwi who died in the crash that also took eight other lives when it overturned in Qacha's Nek, Lesotho, last Friday local time.

Joss was on board the tourist bus with best friend Marie Moncur, Joss' family told Stuff. The pair had been on holiday when the accident happened.

Moncur is said to be in a critical condition in a local hospital still while a third New Zealander was also among the injured.


Emma Joss told Stuff her mum had been a teacher for 40 years and had retired to spend more time with her daughter, who was the family's only grandchild.

"She was warm, friendly, vibrant, loved a chat...and really cared about everyone around her,'' Joss told the publication.

Joanne Joss was a well-known and loved teacher at Kawerau Putauaki School, in Kawerau, in the Bay of Plenty.

Kawerau Putauaki School are incredibly sad to hear of the passing of Joanne Joss one of our former teachers, friend to...

Posted by Kawerau Putauaki School on Sunday, 30 September 2018

The school this week informed the wider community and paid tribute to their former staff member.

"Kawerau Putauaki School are incredibly sad to hear of the passing of Joanne Joss, one of our former teachers, friend to many of our staff and whānau and loved teacher of so many of our students.

"Haera rā , Mrs Joss. E kore rawa e warewaretia. Moe mai rā." (Farewell, Mrs Joss. You will not be forgotten. Rest in peace).

Former students have also paid tribute to Joss; acknowledging the impact she had had on their lives as children and expressing their love for her as a teacher.

Yolanda Huntingdon wrote on Facebook that she felt blessed when she found out that her beloved teacher back in the day was now her daughter's school teacher.


"I am so shocked to hear of your passing, Mrs Joss. I always thought of you as ageless and invincible! One of the best teachers ever.''

Another ex pupil remembered her as a kind and patient teacher.

While another wrote: "She always got stuck into my PE classes even in heels! Lots of love to her family and whānau."