Accidents claim four lives

2016-06-01 06:00
THE remains of the BMW X5 vehicle of deceased Mangaung Metro Municipality deputy mayor, Constance Rampai (insert).

THE remains of the BMW X5 vehicle of deceased Mangaung Metro Municipality deputy mayor, Constance Rampai (insert).

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SPEEDING and a momentary lapse in judgement could be blamed for separate fatal road accidents this past weekend on the N1 and R30 – with the one on the N1 claiming the life of Constance Rampai, deputy mayor of Mangaung. The tragic accident involving Rampai reportedly occurred on Saturday (28/05) at about 01:45 near the Verkeerdevlei Toll Plaza.

The tragic accident on the R30 near Virginia claimed the lives of three people. The deceased have been identified as Nophumzile and Piet Mfihlo and their grandson, six-year-old Sipho. The accident reportedly occurred on Sunday (28/05) at about 16:38. The accident happened a few kilometres from where the R30 road splits into two, one going to Virginia-Welkom and the other to Welkom, Odendaalrus, Bothaville via Orkney.

Rampai allegedly attempted to overtake a truck when her car collided with another truck. She died on the scene.

Sgt Ikobeng Hlubi, Mangaung police spokesperson, said Rampai had been the only occupant in the black BMW X5 which she was driving and which collided head-on with the truck. The driver of the truck escaped with minor injuries and was admitted to the Winburg Hospital, 120 km from Bloemfontein.

It is understood that Rampai tried overtaking where the road markings permitted her to do so. An apparent momentary lapse in judgement at that moment caused her to collide with an oncoming truck. Rampai was reportedly returning home to Bloemfontein from the ANC’s election list meeting held in Pretoria on Friday (27/05).

Qondile Khedama, Mangaung Metro spokesperson, has described Rampai as a cadre of note and as a committed leader who had been supportive of the agenda of the city to improve the lives of the people of Mangaung.

“The death of Connie Rampai, a servant of the people, closes a chapter of a life worth celebrating. Those of us who had an opportunity to observe a prodigious personality, were inspired by her resilience, humility, but most of all the respect she showed to rich and poor. Her death is a great loss to the Rampai family, the people of Mangaung and the Free State,” said Khedama.

James Letuka, DA mayoral candidate for Mangaung, said: “The DA extends its heartfelt condolences to Rampai’s family and friends, the ANC and to the entire Mangaung Metro Council. Our thoughts are with you all during this difficult time of bereavement.”

Speeding appeared to be a factor in the accident on the R30. Malebo Khosana, Thabong police spokesperson, said prior to the accident, a traffic officer on duty had signalled the driver of a white Chevrolet sedan, travelling at 157 km/h, to stop.

As the Chevrolet was attempting stop, a black Audi A3 came from behind at high speed, overtaking three vehicles on the extreme left side of the road on the yellow lane, hitting the Chevrolet, resulting in the fatal accident which claimed the lives of Sipho, Nophumzile and Piet Mfihlo and their minor grandson.

Khosana said the survivors X Sechaba Mokhoabane, driver of the Audi, and Aubrey Cebani, driver of the Chevrolet, together with his spouse, were admitted to a hospital in Welkom.

He said the occupants of the Chevrolet were from Botshabelo heading to Orkney. It is unclear where the driver of Audi was from. The police are reported to be investigating a case of culpable homicide.

Khosana said a case of reckless driving would also be investigated.

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