Johannesburg - The mystery of the identity of the two passengers who were travelling with the popular Generations: The Legacy star, Rapulana Seiphemo, when he was involved in a horrific fatal accident on the N14, near Diepsloot, last Sunday has deepened.
The crash left Seiphemo - popularly known as Tau Mogale - in a critical condition and three people dead.
The Sunday Independent can today reveal that while one of the two passengers in Seiphemo’s car died at the scene of the accident, the other who survived is under heavy police guard at a Gauteng hospital.
Security had to be beefed up around him after he allegedly attempted to escape.
There is speculation within police circles that the two passengers in Seiphemo’s Audi A4 could have been hijackers.
Both have been identified as coming from Mamelodi, east of Pretoria, and apparently are strangers to the actor.
Earlier in the week, Gauteng police spokeswoman Brigadier Mashadi Selepe was reluctant to disclose any details about the identity of the passengers in Seiphemo’s vehicle, saying this was “sensitive”.
Police spokesman Captain Tsekiso Mofokeng yesterday confirmed that the injured passenger was under police guard but did not wish to give further details.
“All I can confirm is that the injured passenger is under police guard and that forms part of the investigation that is in progress,” he said.
He added that police have opened three culpable homicide cases and are in the process of collecting statements from survivors of the accident and witnesses.
Meanwhile, Nelia Germishuys is pleading that her family members who perished in the accident be afforded equal attention.
Germishuys’s cousin, Jerry Coertze, and her brother-in-law, Donovan van Zyl, were the other two people who died in the collision.
Coertze, who died in hospital on Tuesday, was the third to die as a result of the accident.
Van Zyl and Seiphemo’s passenger died instantly in the crash.
“I want the world to remember my cousin died in the Rapulana accident, please. His life matters too,” Germishuys said on Thursday in an e-mail sent to The Sunday Independent’s sister newspaper, The Star.
“I have read so many articles and comments and no one cares about or mentions the names of the people who died in this horrific accident. They only care about their celebrity and his recovery. What about the other three people who died? All souls matter.”
Coertze was travelling with Van Zyl, who was the driver of the car, a Toyota Corolla.
He was returning from fetching Coertze from a Pretoria hospital and they were on their way back to Krugersdorp.
The third passenger in Coertze’s car, Van Zyl’s brother, Jody, survived the accident.
Germishuys said Van Zyl’s 3-year-old son, Riaan, had been asking where his father is.
“His grandmother told him that Daddy went to heaven and that he is helping the angels to build a house for us.”
Germishuys said Coertze’s family did not have funeral cover and she has appealed to the public to help them with funeral costs.
“They have been asking family members for donations in order to lay both sons to rest. They are struggling financially.”
Friends, colleagues and fans have taken to social media since Sunday to send well wishes to Seiphemo, his family and the other people and families affected by the car accident.
Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa sent out a statement urging South Africans to pray for the actor as well as the other injured passengers.
Generations spokeswoman Gaaratwe Mokhethi said the cast wished Seiphemo a speedy recovery and believed that he would pull through.
Family spokesman Mduduzi Sikhakhane said Seiphemo was showing positive signs of recovery and the family were grateful for the support they had received since the tragic incident was made public.
According to the Tshwane Metro Police Department (TMPD), the accident happened a few minutes before 10pm last Sunday when two vehicles collided on the N14 near Diepsloot, north of Joburg.
“A report will be released once the police investigation is completed,” said TMPD spokesman, senior superintendent Isaac Mahamba.
Seiphemo, 48, who plays Tau Mogale in the popular soap series Generations: The Legacy, is recovering in the ICU section of the Milpark Hospital after undergoing an operation on Monday.