Min­is­ter Cele in­jured in col­li­sion in Joburg

Po­lice ve­hi­cle’s ‘bizarre’ move­ments al­legedly caused the ac­ci­dent

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - KHAYA KOKO AND NOKUTHULA ZWANE

AMOTORIST who wit­nessed yes­ter­day’s ac­ci­dent in­volv­ing Bheki Cele in Joburg said it was bizarre how the po­lice ve­hi­cle that crashed into Cele over­took cars on a nar­row road dur­ing heavy traf­fic.

Cele, who is the Deputy Min­is­ter of Agri­cul­ture, Forestry and Fish­eries (DAFF), was in­volved in the ac­ci­dent while on his way to The Star Build­ing in the Joburg CBD to meet with edi­tors and re­searchers for a dis­cus­sion about the DAFF’s strat­egy post its 2017 Bud­get Vote.

The ac­ci­dent oc­curred on the M1 south near the Joe Slovo of­framp, where there is on­go­ing ma­jor con­struc­tion to up­grade that stretch of free­way.

The eye­wit­ness, who asked to re­main anony­mous, said he was driv­ing be­hind Cele’s mo­tor­cade as he was from the Mel­rose Arch area when the ac­ci­dent oc­curred.

“As I was passing the Power FM of­fices (in Houghton), that is when the traf­fic con­ges­tion be­gan due to the road works on the M1. All the cars were trav­el­ling slowly as this is nat­u­ral when ap­proach­ing traf­fic,” the eye­wit­ness said.

“Then, all of a sud­den, I saw a white po­lice van speed­ing past me and the BMW X5 (part of Cele’s mo­tor­cade), which was just ahead of me to crash into another black car. The car (that Cele was in) then veered slightly and crashed into the con­crete bar­ri­ers sep­a­rat­ing lanes on the M1.

“I found it bizarre why the van chose to over­take on such a nar­row stretch of road as there was no space to ma­noeu­vre at that time,” the wit­ness added.

The eye­wit­ness ac­count cor­re­lates with what Cele’s spokesper­son, Nonku­l­uleko Phokane, who said that a white po­lice van crashed into the deputy min­is­ter’s car, in­jur­ing both him and his body­guard.

Both men were rushed to Mil­park Hospi­tal, where they were treated and dis­charged yes­ter­day af­ter­noon.

“His (Cele’s) car is dam­aged right now, and so is the po­lice car.

“He sus­tained mi­nor in­juries to his leg and is cur­rently at home re­cu­per­at­ing in a sta­ble con­di­tion. We thank God both Mr Cele and his body­guard are fine,” Phokane said.

Po­lice spokesper­son Colonel Lun­gelo Dlamini said he did not know the de­tails of the ac­ci­dent and could not com­ment.

RE­CU­PER­AT­ING: Bheki Cele

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