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S Africa minister dies in car crash

A South African Cabinet minister who led the planning of the 2013 funeral of Nelson Mandela has died in a car crash.

The office of South African president Jacob Zuma said Collins Chabane, minister in charge of public service and administration, died early today.

Mr Zuma said that Mr Chabane's death is a big loss to the government and the country.

The president's office said Mr Chabane planned the funeral of Mandela, the anti-apartheid leader and former prisoner who became president, with "great dignity and efficiency".

The funeral ceremonies for Mandela included a stadium memorial attended by US president Barack Obama and dozens of other leaders from around the world.

The main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, noted in a condolence message that two police officers who were acting as Mr Chabane's bodyguards also died in the crash.

Mr Chabane's car hit a truck that was making a U-turn on a highway near Polokwane, the capital of South Africa's Limpopo province, South African media reported.

The truck driver, who was not injured, has been arrested and a case of negligent killing has been opened.

Mr Chabane was a veteran of the fight against apartheid, the system of white racist rule that ended with Mandela's election in 1994, according to the presidential office. He was also a long-serving member of the national executive committee of South Africa's ruling party, the African National Congress.


From Belfast Telegraph