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Nelson Mandela Bay mayor hospitalised, two killed in car crash

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Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Nqaba Bhanga. File image.

Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Nqaba Bhanga. File image.
Image: Werner Hills

Nelson Mandela Bay mayor and Eastern Cape DA leader Nqaba Bhanga is recovering in hospital after sustaining injuries in a car accident in Gqeberha on Saturday evening.

Police spokesperson Capt Sandra Janse van Rensburg said police were investigating a case of culpable homicide after two people were fatally injured in the collision.

She said the accident happened at about 11.30pm at the intersection of St Leonards Drive and Uitenhage Road and involved two vehicles, a grey Audi and a navy blue Mercedes-Benz.

“Both occupants in the Audi, identity still unknown, died on the scene and the alleged driver of the Mercedes-Benz is in hospital,” Janse van Rensburg said.

In a statement on Sunday, Bhanga’s spokesperson, Leander Kruger, said the mayor was being observed at Greenacres Hospital after sustaining minor injuries.

“He was driving his own vehicle at the time. Two people involved in the car accident are believed to have succumbed to their injuries on the scene.

“He is thankful for the incredible work healthcare workers continue to carry out during these trying times and is appreciative of the excellent care he has received thus far,” Kruger said.

The accident happened on the day Bhanga was celebrating his birthday.

On the day he posted on his Twitter account: “I woke up with a prayer, to thank God for everything that I have achieved, for the strength to continue leading Nelson Mandela Bay residents with humility and the knowledge to lead them to prosperity. My birthday wish is to WIN this election, ndilinde i cake.”

Questions have been asked why he was on the road after the curfew.

Local Patriotic Alliance (PA) councillor Marlon Daniels, posted on his Facebook page on Sunday saying: “Let’s find out if blood alcohol levels were tested. Big trouble looming if they did not do so.

“PA legal team will be flying to our metro to find all the facts surrounding same and offer support to the bereaved family … This time around the DA will not sweep this under the carpet.”

The DA’s provincial chair, Andrew Whitfield said the party was deeply saddened by the loss of life in the accident.

“DA EC provincial leader and Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Nqaba Bhanga was also involved in the accident and has been admitted to hospital.

“We wish him a speed recovery. We are waiting for more details surrounding the accident.

“The DA sends our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of those who so tragically lost their lives.

“We wish them all the strength they need in this difficult time,”  Whitfield said.

— HeraldLIVE

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