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The 17-year-old daughter of Minister of Public Works Thulas Nxesi has been killed in a car smash outside Kroonstad.

The minister is married to Sesi, CEO of the Education Seta.

Ministry of Public Works spokesman Lunga Mahlangu

said Lona Nxesi was on her way home to Midrand from a boarding school in Bloemfontein when the accident occurred on Monday.

Family spokesman Zinzile Nxesi told The Star last night that

they suspected that the driver lost control of the vehicle just outside Kroonstad in the Free State.

He said the car belonged to the minister and was driven by one of his drivers.

The family were still waiting for a police report on the accident.

“The death of Lona is a huge loss to the family. She had a bright future,” Nxesi said.

“She was studying hard to pass matric this year. The family, particularly her parents, are going through a difficult period in their lives. It is also difficult for her siblings.”

Lona, according to her uncle, was passionate about media studies, although she was majoring in mathematics.

She and her father used to argue about it – her father wanted her to pursue a career in technical studies but she was insisting on media.

Funeral arrangements would be made public when they had been finalised, said Nxesi.