Shock as MEC dies in horror car crash

2013-07-21 14:00

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Kolisile ‘lived by the popular adage that the masses are history makers’

Phozisa Kolisile sat on her bed yesterday evening wrapped in a dark brown fur wrap and red blanket.

She wept for her husband, Gauteng economic development MEC Nkosiphendule Kolisile, who was killed in a horror car accident at about 4.30am yesterday.

The 37-year-old Phozisa last saw her husband and father of five children – between the ages of 10 and 18 – less than a day ago.

Kolisile (40) left his home in Randfontein on Gauteng’s West Rand at about midnight on Friday with his two bodyguards, who also died in the accident.

The three were travelling on the N6 on their way to Eastern Cape for the funeral of the father of Boyce Maneli, ANC Gauteng deputy secretary.

Phozisa, who is in deep shock, said nothing but wept silently as visitors came and went yesterday.

Cars lined the street and filled the parking space next door to their home. These were people who cameto pay their respects. A marquee was being erected in the front garden to receive more guests.

A woman relative entered the bedroom to tell the visitors what had happened.

She said in isiXhosa: “Umke apha ngentseni eleqisa (He left early rushing).”

Family spokesperson Pat Ntsobi said Kolisile’s children, who were out of view elsewhere in the double-storey house, were devastated and were receiving counselling.

“We are receiving a lot of support from the ANC and the alliance, and we are grateful for that,” Ntsobi said, adding that extended family living in the coastal town of Port St Johns in Eastern Cape – where Kolisile’s parents still live – were being informed of the sad news.

Kolisile’s police VIP protection unit bodyguards have been identified as Constable Tshepo Jobo and Sergeant Tebogo Motsei.

Ntsobi said the family would travel this morning to Reddersburg, 60km south of Bloemfontein,

Free State, where the accident happened, to see the place where Kolisile lost his life.

Free State police are investigating a case of culpable homicide in connection with the accident.

The province’s police spokesperson, Sergeant Thabo Litabe, said the accident happened at about 4.30am when a white sedan in which Kolisile and his bodyguards were travelling in swerved to avoid an ambulance only to collide head-on with a truck.

Only the truck driver survived the accident, while the ambulance sped on.

“The truck was travelling towards Bloemfontein while the (MEC’s) sedan was travelling to the Eastern Cape,” Litabe said.

He said the car Kolisile was travelling in was so badly damaged that police could not tell its make or model.

“All of the three occupants in the white sedan died on the scene. The accident was very very bad,” he said.

At a press conference yesterday afternoon, Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane described Kolisile as a “sterling public representative who lived by the popular adage that the masses are makers of history”, and that he “improved the lives of the citizens of Gauteng and beyond”.

“We are in no hurry to appoint Kolisile’s replacement, and we will mourn him properly before thinking about his replacement,” she said.

Mokonyane confirmed that although the details of the accident remain sketchy, Kolisile would receive an official provincial government funeral.

Meanwhile, Gauteng MEC for sports, arts, culture and recreation Lebogang Maile has been tasked with handling communication relating to funeral arrangements.

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