Driver of fatal MP crash allegedly made U-turn

2017-08-03 16:48
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Cape Town - The driver of the vehicle ferrying MPs to Paarl for an oversight visit allegedly made a U-turn before the deadly crash with a taxi, DA MP Ian Ollis said on Thursday.

“He [the driver] made a U-turn across the road and the taxi collided with us in the turn,” said Ollis, who was a passenger in the vehicle and was seriously injured in the collision on Wednesday.

Photographs of the scene show the MPs' Hyundai H1 shuttle came to a rest on the side of the road on its roof, in misty conditions.

“Quite a number of people in the taxi were also injured,” Ollis said, sounding drained.

The MPs were on a week-long oversight visit with Parliament's portfolio committee on basic education.

On Monday and Tuesday, they visited schools in Langa and Gugulethu, to see the department's work and the issues facing schools. Their next stop was Paarl.

Ollis said the vehicles and driver were supplied by a car rental company contracted to Parliament.

He was sitting next to ANC MP Timothy Khoza in the Hyundai, which was leading a three-car convoy.

READ: MP Timothy Khoza lived for the betterment of others - ANC

Khoza died on the scene. Committee chairperson Nomalungelo Gina of the ANC, Ollis, and UDM MP Cynthia Majeke were seriously injured.

At least four people in the taxi were injured. Their names, and the name of the shuttle driver, were not immediately available.

Western Cape police opened a culpable homicide investigation, to determine if either of the drivers was responsible. Sergeant Noloyiso Rwexana said the investigation had not been completed, so nobody had been charged yet.

Ollis said his family heard about the crash through the media and were quite worried. He was discharged from hospital on Thursday morning.

“I am quite sore, and I think I may have torn a ligament in my shoulder. But I am alright.”

He said Khoza’s death was difficult for him.

“He was sitting next to me on the seat and he passed away as we tried to get out of the vehicle.”

He planned to fly home to Gauteng later on Thursday to continue his recovery. Next Tuesday's motion of no confidence against President Jacob Zuma was however on his mind.

He did not know if the motion, in the National Assembly, would be postponed in view of Khoza's death and the other MPs' injuries. He said he might return to Cape Town for the motion, but would need to take a break after that to recover properly.

The ANC’s parliamentary caucus spokesperson, Nonceba Mhlauli, said Gina was still in hospital.

There were plans to bolster the delegation to be sent to the grieving Khoza family in Mpumalanga. He was from the eHlanzeni region, Nkomazi sub-region and would have celebrated his birthday next week, said Mhlauli.

UDM secretary general Bongani Msomu said Majeke broke both wrists and severely injured her hip. She was still in hospital on Thursday morning.

“But she will make it,” Msomu said with a sigh of relief.


Read more on:    parliament  |  cape town  |  politics  |  crashes  |  accidents

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