Police are probing claims that the driver of a truck that collided with a vehicle carrying Minister in the Presidency, Collins Chabane may have been drunk at the time of the accident.
Chabane and his two bodyguards Sergeant Lesiba Sekele and Sergeant Lawrence died following the crash on Sunday morning.
The truck driver who has been arrested will appear in court on Tuesday.
Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has reacted with shock to the death of Chabane. Motsoaledi and Minister of Environmental Affairs Edna Molewa were among senior government officials who went to the scene of the accident on the N1 between Polokwane and Mokopane.
Police have told the two ministers and family members that the truck driver, who apparently made a U-turn on the road, failed an alcohol breathalyser test and was arrested.
Motsoaledi says harsh measures should be taken. “We are just shocked, we run out of words and it becomes even more outrageous when the police here report that this man was not sober. Because we have said many times the number of lives we are losing on our roads because of problems of alcohol on the roads. This will actually strengthen our resolve that we have got to take a strong action against drinking and driving because the time has arrived that we take very hard measures.”
Chabane served as minister in the Presidency responsible for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation during the fourth administration.
He was born on April 15, 1960 at the Xikundu Village, near Malamulele, in Limpopo.
The SACP says it sends its deepest condolences to the families of Comrade Chabane, Sergeants Sekele and Lentsoane
The African National Congress (ANC) says the passing of Public Service and Administration Minister Chabane will leave a huge void in the party and the government.
ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa described Chabane as a true servant of the people. “His ground-breaking work entrenched accountability and performance measurement as a centre feature of the work of government.”
The South African Communist Party (SACP) says they are deeply shocked and saddened by the untimely death of the long-standing activist and veteran of our liberation struggle Chabane and his two his bodyguards.
The SACP says it sends its deepest condolences to the families of Comrade Chabane, Sergeants Sekele and Lentsoane.
In its reaction, the Freedom Front Plus says its shocked by his death. Chief Whip, Dr Corne Mulder, says Chabane was one of the hardest working ministers in the present cabinet.
Mulder has lauded him for his role in spearheading performance monitoring and evaluation in government.
Western Cape Premier, Helen Zille, has also extended her government’s condolences to Chabane’s family. Zille says Chabane was a dedicated minister who served in government with great commitment.
Click here to watch reactions to the passing of Chabane.