Collins Chabane family demands answers on fatal accident

Minister in the Presidency for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation Collins Chabane. (GCIS)
Minister in the Presidency for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation Collins Chabane. (GCIS)

Malamulele - Collins Chabane's family is still waiting for answers about how the public service minister was killed.

The Chabanes believe that there was foul play in the accident on the N1 near Polokwane on the morning of March 15 2015.

The family raised their concerns following a decision to merge three Limpopo municipalities and name them after the minister.

"In as much as I do not have a problem with the support that people are giving to Collins, even in his grave, because he was their servant, I have a problem because I will never know the truth around his death because no evidence was ever produced in court," family spokesperson Percy Chabane said on Friday.

He was referring to claims that the minister was assassinated.

Chabane, his driver and bodyguard - Lesiba Sekele and Lawrence Lentsoane - were killed when truck driver Amukelani Rikhotso made a U-turn on the four-lane road. Their VW Touareg crashed into his truck.

Rikhotso pleaded guilty to culpable homicide and driving under the influence of alcohol when he appeared in the Mankweng Magistrate's Court in April. He is set to be sentenced on August 15.

On March 18 2015, one of Chabane’s relatives, Thembani Chabane, claimed in a Facebook post that African National Congress provincial executive committee members had paid Rikhotso R15 000 to "execute" the minister.

Name change without consultation

Opposition parties accused the ANC of pushing the name change through without consulting them.

"We don't want Collins Chabane's name because he didn't do anything for the people of Malamulele," said Ximoko Party leader Aura Choki Baloyi.

Economic Freedom Fighters spokesperson in Malamulele, Judas Mabunda, said Vhembe District Municipality residents did not want a name foisted on them.

Malamulele Community Association leader Hanyani Chuma said Chabane never did anything to improve life for Malamulele residents. He even failed to put a tar road in his own village, Xikundu, he said.

Vhembe District Mayor Tshitereke Mathibe said objections to the renaming of the new municipality were welcome and comments could be sent to her office. A consultation process was running for 21 days.

The municipality would get its new name after the August 3 elections.

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