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 on Tuesday 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.