The driver of the truck that crashed into four minibus taxis and a car in Field's Hill, Pinetown, has been arrested, KwaZulu-Natal police said on Friday.
"He has been charged with culpable homicide, and reckless and negligent driving," said Colonel Vincent Mdunge.
"The details of the accident are still being investigated, so we cannot draw any conclusions at this stage."
Twenty-seven people were killed in Thursday evening's accident; 24 died on the scene and three others in hospital, he said.
KwaZulu-Natal transport MEC Willies Nchunu's spokesman Kwanele Ncalane, said the driver was being held at the Pinetown police station.
Nchunu would also ask prosecutors to check whether it was possible to also have the transport company charged, said Ncalane.
KwaZulu-Natal Road Traffic Inspectorate spokeswoman Zinhle Mngomezulu said on Thursday evening that the Pinetown accident occurred when the brakes failed on the truck belonging to Evergreen Transport.
Transport Minister Dipuo Peters has ordered a high-level investigation into the crash and will visit the accident scene on Friday morning.
The accident occurred when the articulated truck hit four fully-laden taxis and a Volkswagen Golf on the corners of Fields Hill (M13) and Richmond roads in Pinetown shortly before 7pm.