Nelson Mandela Bay mayor out of hospital after curfew breaking car crash

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Nelson Mandela Bay Mayor Nqaba Bhanga has been injured in a crash.
Nelson Mandela Bay Mayor Nqaba Bhanga has been injured in a crash.
Port Elizabeth Traffic Updates
  • Nelson Mandela Bay Metro Mayor Nqaba Bhanga has been discharged from hospital with a broken limb.
  • The mayor is set to release a statement on Tuesday about his health and his upcoming mayoral campaign.
  • Bhanga spent almost three weeks in hospital after he was involved in a fatal car crash which claimed the lives of two people in Algoa Park in August. 

Nelson Mandela Bay Metro Mayor Nqaba Bhanga has been discharged from hospital and is recovering at home.

DA federal council chairperson Helen Zille confirmed on Tuesday that Bhanga had been discharged.

"He is much improved, and his broken limb is healing," Zille said. 

Asked for comment, Bhanga declined to speak to News24, but said he would release a statement about his health and whether he was still in the running for the mayoral job in the 1 November local government elections.

Bhanga did not want to reveal which limb was broken, saying only he would reveal details in the statement.

READ | No blood alcohol tests conducted on Nelson Mandela Bay mayor after fatal crash

Bhanga spent almost three weeks in hospital after he was involved in a fatal car crash which claimed the lives of two people in Algoa Park on 28 August. 

The crash happened after curfew - at 23:30 - on the day Bhanga was celebrating his 44th birthday.

Police are investigating a case of culpable homicide and said the investigation would reveal if a charge relating to the violation of lockdown regulations should be added. 

Both victims of the crash were driving in an Audi that collided with Bhanga's navy Mercedes Benz at the intersection of St Leonard's Drive and Uitenhage Road.

The police had since disclosed that the passenger in the car was identified as 44-year-old Nonzwakazi Maho, while the driver was identified as 39-year-old Sandile Ronald Sicolo. 

READ | Nelson Mandela Bay has acting mayor, as Nqaba Bhanga hospitalised after car accident

The mayor was alone in his car, the police said. 

Due to his hospitalisation, Bhanga was temporarily replaced as Nelson Mandela Bay metro mayor and DA caucus leader.

The DA's deputy caucus leader Rano Kayser now leads the DA caucus, while UDM councillor Luxolo Namette took over as acting mayor of the coalition government.  

The police previously revealed that no blood alcohol test was conducted on the mayor. 

The police said the priority was to save lives at the crash scene, adding that they would rely on witness statements to establish if Bhanga had been drinking prior to the crash.

Police spokesperson Colonel Priscila Naidu confirmed that the culpable homicide investigation was still under way, but declined to reveal the progress of the investigation.

"Once completed, the docket will be sent to the senior public prosecutor for a decision," said Naidu. 

The DA had, in the meantime, urged the public to stop speculating about the crash and to allow police to investigate the matter. 

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