MPs remember Chabane fondly, want to amend road rules

2015-03-18 09:28

Parliament wants serious attention to be given to causes of road accidents following the death of Public Service and Administration Minister Collins Chabane.

Members of Parliament yesterday offered condolences to the family members of the late minister – some of whom were present in the gallery during the sitting of the National Assembly – as well as to the families of the two slain bodyguards who died with Chabane.

Chabane and his two bodyguards – Sergeant Lesiba Sekele and Sergeant Lawrence Lentsoane – were killed on impact when their car crashed into a truck in Polokwane on Sunday.

Amukelani Rikhotso, the truck driver who allegedly tried to make an illegal U-turn on the highway, was arrested and appeared in the Polokwane Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

His case was postponed to April 10.

MPs from all political parties paid tribute to Chabane, giving special attention to his passion and gift for music along with his role in the liberation struggle.

Deputy Minister of Health Joe Phaahla fondly remembered Chabane as being “brilliant and ethical’’ and for his sense of humour.

“There are those of us who must watch our diets very carefully, but Chabane was able to pile on the pap,” he said with a chuckle.

Phaala added that although Chabane was small in frame, he was as great as a Baobab tree.

IFP president Mangosuthu Buthelezi said Chabane’s valuable contribution in debates would be missed along with his humility.

“Minister Chabane understood the challenges of governance and what was required of him.”

Speaking for the DA, Joe Mcgluwa said that he had an immense amount of respect for the commitment and fairness showed by Chabane.

“He was no stranger to portfolio committee meetings and he had a sense of humour which was unmatched.

“He never took criticism personally and in fact often went out of his way find solutions. All who interacted with him will miss him,” Mcgluwa said.

MPs called for a reassessment of the rules of the road and suggested systems that would punish those who repeatedly fail to comply with the law.

The EFF said that the time had come to say that, “enough is enough when it comes to drink-drivers”.

Though they noted that this was not the occasion to get into the finer details of reforming road laws, many MPs agreed that time should be set aside to address the serious matter.

Chabane will be given a special official funeral on Saturday with a memorial service planned for noon tomorrow at the Pretoria City Hall.

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