South Africa: Deputy Minister Hlongwa Was Assisting Overturned Vehicle When She Died

14 September 2019

Deputy minister of mineral resources and energy, Bavelile Hlongwa was assisting a motorist who had overturned when a truck ploughed into the scene, Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has revealed.

The accident, which claimed the life of Hlongwa, together with three other people, happened on the N1 at Maubane Bridge at Carousel Plaza, Hammanskraal.

Hlongwa had "stopped to assist a motorist whose vehicle had overturned on the N1 at Maubane ... the deputy minister, her security detail, emergency medical services personnel and Bakwena security group personnel were in the process of assisting the motorist when a flatbed truck crashed into the scene," said Mbalula in a statement on Saturday.

Several people were left injured.

'Diligent, dedicated'

Mbalula said an investigation has been launched by the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) as well as the SA Police Service (SAPS).

"South Africa has lost a diligent and dedicated servant of the people. Just as she lived, Hlongwa died helping others," Mbalula said in tribute.

News24 previously reported that President Cyril Ramaphosa confirmed that Hlongwa would be afforded a category 2 official funeral in line with government's state, official and provincial funeral policy.

Ramaphosa described Hlongwa, who joined Ramaphosa's new Cabinet in May, as a "talented leader who, alongside minister Gwede Mantashe, was playing an important and dynamic role in an important sector of our economy".

'Untimely end to young, promising prospect'

Prior to her appointment to Cabinet, Hlongwa was executive deputy chairperson of the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA).

"We were beginning to gel as we considered ways in which we could deal with the challenges facing our ministry, and our country. This is, indeed, an untimely end to a young, promising prospect", said Mantashe in conveying his condolences.

ANC chief whip Pemmy Majodina said: "As one of the youngest members of the executive, the untimely passing of comrade Hlongwa leaves an immense void within structures of the ANC Parliamentary Caucus and the ANC as a whole.

"With her departure, South Africans have truly been robbed of one of its most committed public representatives."


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