DEPUTY minister of mineral resources and energy, Bavelile Hlongwa, was helping a motorist whose car had overturned when a truck ploughed into the scene, Transport Minister, Fikile Mbalula, said in a statement yesterday.

The accident, which claimed Hlongwa and three others, happened on the N1 at Maubane Bridge at Carousel Plaza, Hammanskraal.

Hlongwa had “stopped to assist a motorist whose vehicle had overturned on the N1 at Maubane … the deputy minister, her security detail, emergency medical services personnel and Bakwena security group personnel were in the process of assisting the motorist when a flatbed truck crashed into the scene,” said Mbalula in a statement on Saturday.

Several people were left injured.

Mbalula said an investigation has been launched by the Road Traffic Management Corporation and the police.

“South Africa has lost a diligent and dedicated servant of the people. Just as she lived, Hlongwa died helping others,” Mbalula said in a tribute.

News24 reported that President Cyril Ramaphosa confirmed that Hlongwa would be afforded a Category 2 official funeral, in line with government’s state, official and provincial funeral policy.

Ramaphosa described Hlongwa, who joined his new Cabinet in May, as a “talented leader who, alongside minister Gwede Mantashe, was playing an important and dynamic role in an important sector of our economy”.

Before her appointment to Cabinet, Hlongwa was executive deputy chairperson of the National Youth Development Agency.

Said Mantashe: “We were beginning to gel as we considered ways in which we could deal with the challenges facing our ministry and our country. This is, indeed, an untimely end to a young, promising prospect.”

ANC chief whip, Pemmy Majodina, said: “As one of the youngest members of the executive, The untimely passing of comrade Hlongwa leaves an immense void within the structures of the ANC Parliamentary Caucus and the ANC as a whole.With Hlongwa’s departure, South Africans have truly been robbed of one of its most committed public representatives.” – News24