A road traffic accident has claimed the lives of South Africa’s Minister of Public Services and Administration, Collins Chabane, and his two bodyguards, according to a Durban news agency.
Mr Chabane was travelling in a white VW SUV near the north-eastern city of Polokwane in the early hours of Sunday morning when it collided with a truck performing a U-turn. He had been returning from a funeral where he had spoken a eulogy. The passenger compartment of the VW was completely destroyed and 54-year-old Chabane and his bodyguards, Sergeant Lesiba Sekele and Sergeant Lawrence Lentsoane, were killed instantly.
Unconfirmed reports suggest that the driver of the truck, who is being questioned pending possible culpable homicide (manslaughter) charges, was under the influence of alcohol and may have had a suspended driving licence.
A member of the ANC from the age of 17, Collins Chabane spent years in exile in Swaziland, Mozambique and Angola. Had it not been for the unjust political situation in South Africa at the tme, he could have made an impact as a musician. He had a band called ‘Movement’ and played with big names such as Salif Keita and Hugh Masakela, but always said his love for music came second to his love for politics.
Chabane was a self-taught harmonica, guitar and keyboard player, teaching himself music while serving 10-years for terrorism on Robben Island. He had a significant role in organising the funeral of fellow inmate Nelson Mandela.