Driver of bakkie involved in hit-and-run crash that killed Joseph Mabuza known to police

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MBOMBELA, December 29 – The man who fled the scene after the bakkie he was driving was involved in an accident that killed the spokesman for the Mpumalanga community safety department, Joseph Mabuza, has been identified but not yet arrested, police said on Friday.

Provincial police spokesman Brigadier Leonard Hlathi told the African News Agency (ANA) that the driver was on duty at the time of the accident.

“The bakkie he was driving does not belong to him,” said Hlathi.

“The owner of the bakkie has been found and he is cooperating with the police. We are still appealing to the communities to assist the police to arrest the driver. A special team of detectives has been set up to investigate this case.”

Hlathi did not want to reveal more details about the driver – such as his age – saying investigations were still underway.

Mabuza died on Sunday afternoon when the motorbike he was riding collided with a bakkie on the N4 at Hectorspruit. He had been travelling to Mbombela from a work assignment.

Hlathi said at the time the information at police’s disposal suggested that the driver of the bakkie may have recklessly made a u-turn and caused the accident.

Mabuza’s brother and family spokesman, Kingdom Mabuza, told ANA on Friday that his family was impressed with the progress made by the police investigation into the accident.

“The reason why he ran away might be that he is hiding something,” said Kingdom.

“We are hurting as a family and we hope he will be arrested and taken to court. That is when we will find closure. We also thank the media for covering this matter and hope this will also assist in the investigation of the police.”

Mabuza will be buried on Saturday and the funeral service will be held at the Communio Church in Mbombela.

Dozens of people gathered at Mabuza’s home in Mbombela on Friday evening, where they sang and prayed inside a marquee set up outside his house. (ANA)