Durban — ILembe District Municipality mayor Thobani Shandu’s political future is hanging in the balance as he allegedly caused an accident while driving the municipal car without permission.
Shandu and a companion were driving near Mandeni on December 24 when the mayoral BMW was in a collision with an oncoming van.
The driver of the van, Velaphi Mdletshe, who suffered serious injuries in the crash, is now wheelchair-bound.
Speaking to the Daily News on Tuesday Mdletshe said although he could not confirm whether it was the mayor himself driving, all he saw before he lost consciousness was a speeding black BMW crashing into his vehicle. He said he was in his lane driving in the opposite direction when the BMW driver lost control and smashed his car, which rolled two times.
Mdletshe said he was with a woman passenger and his nephew in the back of the van but he was the only one who suffered serious injuries and spent a month in hospital.
Mdletshe added that his concern was that after being discharged from hospital he discovered that a police report suggested that he had caused the accident. He said he suspected either the mayor or the person travelling with him had lied to the police to cover themselves.
“All I want now is justice because it is not true that I was the one who caused the accident. I'm not sure how the wrong version will affect my claim with the Road Accident Fund. I am in a wheel chair and not sure if I will walk again,” said Mdletshe.
He added that while in hospital he was informed that people from the mayor’s office had been to his house and gave his family R1 000 to come and check on him at hospital. He said another R1 000 was given to the nephew who was in the van.
Provincial police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Nqobile Gwala said Mandeni police were investigating the incident saying it would be the prosecutors who would decide who ahd been reckless.
The mayor refused speak, saying he reserved his comments for now. The municipality too did not respond to a request for comment.
ANC regional secretary Sphesihle Zulu said the party was aware of the matter and if anyone was found to be wrong, consequence management would have to be applied.
However, ANC insiders said the party had already taken a decision to recall the mayor. The source said even the name of the person to replace the mayor was already known.
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