Crash kills IFP councillor

2011-08-09 00:00

BONGANI Mthembu (40), an Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) councillor in Ezinqoleni, died on Sunday after he lost control of his car and struck a barricade near Phenduka.

Captain Gerald Mfeka, a spokesperson for Margate SA Police Service, said Mthembu was travelling alone when the accident occured at about 7.30 pm.

“Members of the local community saw the accident and phoned the police.

“When police arrived they found Mthembu trapped between the steering wheel and the seat.”

He was still alive when police reached the scene, but died shortly thereafter.

Mfeka said the area had no electricity and Mthembu was apparently driving with his lights off.

“We are awaiting the result of the post-mortem, which we expect on Wednesday. A case of culpable homicide is being investigated,” he said.

The IFP in the Ugu district is distraught at the death of their councillor.

A spokesperson for the party in the district, Sfundo Ngwane, said, “It is a very sad and tragic time for the Mthembu family and the IFP. This is a huge loss to the community at large because Bongani was a promising young man who worked very hard for everyone.”

Ngwane said that although Mthembu was an IFP councillor he represented the entire community regardless of political affiliation.

“Bongani was a real people’s person and the local community are taking his passing away very badly. In our eyes we see it as too soon, but in God’s it was his time,” he added.

The party is making funeral arrangements with the family. It is not clear whether IFP president Mangosuthu Buthelezi and other senior IFP members will attend.

Ngwane said, “The party will respect the mourning period before they enter into discussions over appointing a replacement councillor.”

Mthembu was the only IFP councillor in Ezinqoleni. He also served as the chairperson of the ad hoc committee in the run-up to the local elections in the area.

He leaves behind two sons aged 12 and eight.

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