Tsoaela dies in crash

2015-06-24 06:00
REV. DIPHOKO TSOAELA (left) addressing former gang members in Virginia during the week of 22 January.  
Photo: Teboho Setena

REV. DIPHOKO TSOAELA (left) addressing former gang members in Virginia during the week of 22 January. Photo: Teboho Setena

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A HORRIFIC car crash on the N1 in the Free State has claimed the life of the well-known Rev. Diphoko Tsoaela who worked in the Free State Premier’s office.

Four unnamed passengers who were travelling with him also died when the vehicle collided head-on with a truck going in the opposite direction on the N1 between Ventersburg and Winburg on Saturday, 13 June.

Tsoaela was head of the Intervention Unit in the office of Free State premier, Elias “Ace” Magashule.

The unit is responsible for rendering social services across the province and forging partnerships between the Free State government and the public.

Mondli Mvambi, spokesperson of the Free State government, says the funeral will be held in Winburg on Thursday (25/06), where Tsoaela had been based.

“The news of Rev. Tsoaela is devastating and the premier has received that (the news) with great shock too, knowing his (Tsoaela’s) role in nation-building and social cohesion. He played an immense role in partnership with the community and the Free State government,” says Mvambi.

Among other significant roles, Tsoaela also played the role of peacemaker, succeeding in uniting rival gangsters in Meloding, Virginia, through the Free State premier’s intervention programme. The programme saw Tsoaela unite rival gangsters to end bad blood and gang wars in Meloding where rival gangsters ran a reign of terror, killing one another. Following intervention, gang members adopted the name People of Order, a name that Tsoaela came up with during intervention work with the different rival gang members.

Const. Mosili Ntsika, Free State police spokesperson, says Tsoaela was the driver of the silver Ford Ranger which collided with a truck, claiming the lives of five people at the scene. One passenger who was on the back of the bakkie sustained severe injuries and was treated in hospital.

Ntsika says the Ford Ranger was towing a white Mercedes-Benz while travelling on the N1 towards Winburg from Johannesburg.

“It is alleged that the driver of the bakkie collided with an oncoming truck as he was trying to swerve away from a stationary truck on the side of the road. The impact of the collision led to the Mercedes-Benz being detached from the bakkie, but it was able to continue safely in the correct lane.”

Ntsika says the driver of the towed Mercedes-Benz and his passenger, the truck driver, as well as the other passenger, escaped unharmed.

Ntsika says a case of culpable homicide was registered at the Kroonstad police for further investigation

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