Buthelezi's daughter dies in crash

By Sipho Khumalo and Kamini Padayachee

A daughter of IFP President Mangosuthu Buthelezi was among about eight people killed in accidents in KwaZulu-Natal at the weekend.

Princess Lethuxolo Buthelezi died in an accident at Mthonjaneni, near Melmoth, on Sunday when the vehicle she was driving left the R66.

A second person in the car, who was not named on Sunday, was taken to a nearby hospital.

News of the princess's death dampened the almost week-long festivities in the Zulu nation to celebrate the 60th birthday of King Goodwill Zwelithini.

The king expressed shock on Sunday on behalf of the nation at news of the death of his uncle's daughter.

"Buthelezi called me early today and his emissaries had briefed my brother (Prince Mboneni) about this sad incident. I am shocked to receive the news," said the king at his KwaKhangelamankengane palace, near Pongola.

"I would like to pass my condolences and that of the entire royal house and the nation to the prince," said the king.

The princess's vehicle, a double-cab bakkie, apparently veered off the road and was flung across a park near the road.

Buthelezi's office confirmed his daughter's death on Sunday night.

"Prince Buthelezi and his wife, Princess Irene, are simply devastated by the tragedy. The Buthelezi family thanks his majesty the king, President (Thabo) Mbeki and others for their condolences," said Buthelezi's private secretary, Jon Kaiser.

Funeral arrangements will be announced in due course.

Police Superintendent Muzi Mngomezulu said the bakkie had been travelling from Ulundi to Melmoth.

"The accident is being investigated," he said.

At Amanzimtoti, two teenagers were killed when their vehicle overturned on Kingsway after a police chase on Saturday morning.

Police would not release the names of the two but a weekend newspaper named them as Quinton Haasbroek and Ngcebo Malimela. It was also reported that Haasbroek had taken his father's vehicle without consent, but this could not be confirmed on Sunday.

Mngomezulu said officers had been on a routine patrol when they saw a vehicle being driven recklessly.

"They signalled for the vehicle to stop but the car sped away. Police gave chase and the driver of the vehicle lost control and the car overturned. The 17- year-old driver and an 18-year-old passenger died at the scene. Four other occupants, all in their teens, were also injured," he said.

Netcare911 spokesperson Chris Botha said one of the other four occupants was critically injured.

In an accident in Durban on Sunday, a man was critically injured when his car slammed into a bakkie on Ruth First Highway (M4), near the Virginia Airport turn-off.

Botha said the car collided with a bakkie travelling in the same direction.

"The driver of the car was critically injured and was airlifted to St Augustine's hospital. He is believed to be in a critical but stable condition."

Botha said while emergency services staff were clearing the road, a fully laden minibus taxi rolled repeatedly along the carriageway.

"A total of 22 people were injured," he said.

In Zululand on Sunday, four people were killed and three were injured in a collision near the University of Zululand on the R102.

Transport department spokesperson Nonkululeko Mbatha said a "rear end" collision took place between a bakkie and a car.

Mounties Ambulance service spokesperson Joseph Kruger said one person was in a critical condition and was airlifted to the Ngwelezane hospital.

Three others sustained minor injuries.

One person was killed in an accident on Riverside Road, in Durban, on Friday night.

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