Police have arrested a 48-year-old man in connection with an accident involving the vehicle of KwaNongoma’s mayor that left two teenagers dead.
KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbele confirmed the arrest. She said the man had been arrested for culpable homicide and was detained at Nongoma police station. He will appear in Nongoma Magistrate’s Court soon.
Asanda Ngcobo, 13, and Olona Ndebele, 13, were killed on Thursday afternoon in the Nongoma area of Whitecity when the mayor’s vehicle veered off the road and ploughed into them in the pedestrian area.
The arrest comes after KZN MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison Bheki Ntuli called for an urgent police investigation into the crash.
Mayor Albert Mncwango was not in the car when the accident took place.
Ntuli said he had received a report on the accident.
“This gruesome accident has sparked a community protest in the area, with the community barricading the road, demanding that action be taken,” Ntuli said. “There is no one who is above the law and members of the protection service must also adhere to the laws of our country, including the National Road Traffic Act.
“Those who work with public representatives have a duty to protect society and need to be extra cautious on the road.
“Our investigation will probe the allegations of excessive speed and the driver’s condition at the time of the accident, because this is a residential area and extra caution ought to have been adhered to.
“The forensic investigation must be expedited so that the affected families can find closure.
“Through this accident, the future of the two girls has been shattered and their families have lost future breadwinners and future professionals,” said Ntuli.
Asanda’s uncle, Mbuso Ngcobo, said the girl’s family wanted justice for the children as they believed the accident could have been avoided.
Mncwango described the accident as “tragic”.
“We send our condolences to the families. I am not sure as to the details of the accident, but I know the area it happened in is close to my house and is accident prone –more than 20 people have died there over the years.
“For years, we have been asking for speed humps to be built there.
“There are also several schools there and we have asked for an overhead bridge to be built there so children are not on the road,” he said.