Nelson Mandela Bay mayor breaks silence on fatal crash: 'I was responding to a medical condition'

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  • Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Nqaba Bhanga claims he broke curfew on the fateful night of his 44th birthday to attend to a serious medical condition. 
  • Bhanga was involved in a fatal crash that night which claimed two lives. 
  • The mayor said he was cooperating with the police investigation.   

Nelson Mandela Bay metro mayor Nqaba Bhanga has admitted that he broke curfew when his car was involved in a fatal crash that claimed two lives in Algoa Park in Gqeberha on 28 August. 

Speaking publicly for the first time about the incident since being discharged from hospital, Bhanga said the crash, which occurred at 23.30, happened while he was responding to a serious medical condition. 

He did not explain whether the medical condition was his or another person's and also did not disclose the medical condition. 

The crash happened on the same night the 44-year-old was celebrating his birthday. 

In an emotional five minute video, Bhanga said: 

It breaks my heart that I was involved in this kind of an accident.

Bhanga confirmed that he had met with the police and submitted a statement. 

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

Police are investigating a case of culpable homicide and added that the investigation would reveal if a charge of violating lockdown regulations should be added.

Bhanga said he was cooperating fully with police.

The mayor was currently nursing a broken right wrist at home. 

Bhanga said he stated in his statement to the police that the reason he was out of his house after curfew was that he had to respond to a "serious medical condition".   

He also revealed that his family had reached out to the relatives of Nonzwakazi Maho and Sandile Ronald Sicolo who died when their Audi collided with Bhanga's Mercedes-Benz at the intersection of St Leonard's Drive and Uitenhage Road.

According to Bhanga, his family was welcomed by Maho and Sicolo's loved ones because they understood it was an accident. 

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

He added:

I'm so heartbroken that this accident took two lives and I was severely injured in this car accident. I had to be put in ICU for a number of days.

Bhanga's office manager, councillor Leander Kruger, previously stated that doctors had performed an operation on him to stop internal bleeding and also sedated him for a number of days during the three-week hospitalisation.

According to Bhanga, doctors informed him that he was lucky to have survived the crash. 

In the video statement, Bhanga said he was grateful to have survived. 

"I thank God for saving my life in this accident and I hope God will have mercy to everyone who was involved in this accident. Mercy has been given to me and a second chance has been given to my life and I am so grateful," he added.

Bhanga also thanked the nursing staff and doctors who had looked after him while he was in hospital. 

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