Minister of Public Works Thulas Nxesi and his wife Sesi, CEO of the education Seta, have lost their 17-year-old daughter in a car accident in the Free State.

Ministry of Public Works spokesman Lunga Mahlangu confirmed that Lona Nxesi died on Monday.

Lona had been on her way home to Midrand from boarding school.

Speaking for the family last night, an uncle of Lona, Zinzile Nxesi, said the teenager had been in Grade 12 at Eunice High School in Bloemfontein.

The accident occurred just outside Kroonstad in the Free State.

“We suspect the driver lost control of the vehicle,” Zinzile said.

The car belonged to the minister and was being driven by one of his drivers.

Zinzile said the family was waiting for a police report on what led to the accident.

“The death of Lona is a huge loss to the family,” he said.

“She had a bright future.

“She was studying hard to pass matric this year.

“The family, particularly her parents, are going through a difficult time.

“Lona’s loss is also very difficult for her siblings.”

Lona had been passionate about media studies, but was studying mathematics, Zinzile said.

“(Lona and her father) used to argue about it.

“Her father wanted her to pursue a career in technical studies, but she was insisting on (studying to work in the) media.”

Zinzile said the public would be informed of the funeral arrangements in due course.