Minister dies in car crash

Collins Chabane, Minister of Public Service and Administration, dies in a car crash on Sunday morning March, 19. Photo: Taken from Flickr.

Collins Chabane, Minister of Public Service and Administration, dies in a car crash on Sunday morning March, 15. Photo: Flickr.

Collins Chabane (55), Minister of public service and administration died in a collision on Sunday morning when a truck driver did a U-turn in front of their car on the N1 highway. He had been travelling with his bodyguard Lawrence Lentsoane (45) and driver Lesiba Sekele (45) when the crash took place at around 1 am.

The car collided with the truck killing him and his security staff on impact, with Sekele being flung out of the vehicle. The driver of Chabane’s white VW Touareg, Sekele, may have been exceeding the speed limit when it collided with the truck, according to Marius Luyt, the spokesman for the Automobile Association, who told IOL that “If the vehicle was travelling within the speed limit, it should have been able to stop in time.” But he said that this would be difficult to determine as they do not have information regarding the cars previous condition. “South Africa has lost a very humble minister, who could make any South African feel at home in their own country”, said Brent Simpson The Spokesperson of the Ministry of Public Service and Administration. He said that its Its very tragic for the department as he was such a loyal colleague and had touched everyone’s lives in a certain way.

Zizi Kodwa, The ANC National Media Spokesperson told the Wits Vuvuzela; “This is just a huge loss for the country and the ANC. He was different to many with his distinct characters of respect, loyalty, discipline and integrity. He was a dedicated cadre who understood service to the people as the prime responsible of leadership.” It wasn’t just politicians who were sending condolences and expressing their grief.

On the scene the driver of the truck was tested positive for alcohol. He had attempted to make a U-turn to get to a smaller truck that was on the other side of the highway when the collision took place. The police performed a breathalyser test that showed he had alcohol in his system, but whether or not it fell within the legal limit could not be determined. Following the arrest he was taken to a hospital to do blood tests which were sent to the forensics Department in Pretoria for further analysis. He has since been arrested and charged with culpable homicide as well as reckless and negligent driving. The truck driver was due to appear in the Polokwane Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, but that has been rescheduled for April 6th.  The truck driver has been arrested before for driving under the influence.

Chabane won’t only be remembered for his position as a minister. He was also an avid lover of music and had released two albums, called Movement 1 and Movement 2. He had also shared the stage with legends such as Jonas Gwangwa, Hugh Masekela and Salif Keita.