No blood alcohol tests conducted on Nelson Mandela Bay mayor after fatal 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
  • Eastern Cape police say no blood-alcohol tests were performed on anyone involved in the accident in which Nelson Mandela Bay Mayor Nqaba Bhanga was injured.
  • Two people died during the crash which occurred after curfew on Saturday.
  • Police are investigating a culpable homicide case.

Blood-alcohol tests were not conducted on Nelson Mandela Bay Mayor Nqaba Bhanga, nor on any of the people involved in the crash in which he was injured, according to Eastern Cape police.

The mayor's Mercedes-Benz collided with an Audi at the intersection of St Leonard's Drive and Uitenhage Road at about 23:30 on Saturday. The accident occurred on his 44th birthday.

But police say they don't know whether the mayor had consumed any alcohol that night. They will now have to rely on witnesses to establish whether he had been drinking.

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

Police spokesperson Captain Sandra Janse Van Rensburg said blood tests were not taken because the priority was to treat the injured.

She said paramedics arrived at the scene first and treated those who were involved in the crash. 

Van Rensburg added:

As previously explained, the priority at any accident scene is to tend to the injured person. Again, when police arrived, all the injured were being attended to. This case is no different from any other serious accident scenes attended. If the mayor did not sustain any injuries and was not being attended to by paramedics and there were allegations at the scene that he was under the influence of alcohol, then a blood test would have been done to confirm that he was driving under the influence.

Van Rensburg also said:

The investigation is still ongoing and if the allegation is that he was under the influence of alcohol, statements will be obtained from witnesses to this effect. Once the investigation is complete, the docket will be sent to the senior public prosecutor for a decision whether to charge or not.

The two people in the Audi, Sandile Ronald Sociko, 39, and Nonzwakazi Maho, 44, were later declared dead.

The mayor was seriously injured and is in high care.

He underwent surgery on Sunday evening to stop internal bleeding. 

According to the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro, he remains sedated, his condition is stable and he is steadily improving. 

Meanwhile, the DA, of which Bhanga is a member, has urged the public to stop speculating about the accident and allow police to investigate the matter.

ALSO READ DA urges public, rivals not to speculate about Nelson Mandela Bay mayor's curfew-breaking car crash

But political rivals from the Good party wasted no time ripping into Bhanga and calling him an unguided missile. The party demanded to know why he was out after the 22:00 curfew.

Police are probing a culpable homicide case and added that the investigation would reveal whether they should add a curfew-related charge under the Disaster Management Act.

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