Troubled Mnquma Municipal Manager Sindile Tantsi died in a car accident on Thursday afternoon on the N2 between Port Shepstone and Kokstad.
KwaZulu-Natal Emergency Medical Services spokesman Tim Larsen said the accident occurred near the small town of Harding 90km from Port Shepstone at 4.50pm.
It is understood that Tantsi was travelling in his Mercedes-Benzs when it collided head on with a bakkie.
Two people, including Tantsi, died while three others sustained serious injuries.
ANC Eastern Cape spokesman Mlibo Qoboshiyane confirmed having received news of the municipal manager’s passing.
Mnquma’s acting executive mayor, Ndyebo Skelenge said they were shocked to hear about the death of Tantsi. “We are saddened by his death. He was a respected and dedicated man who loved his work. We as the Mnquma municipality staff and community are sending our condolences to his family. He remained our employee until his untimely death,” said Skelenge.
“As the ANC we send our deepest condolences and sympathy to his wife and children. We understand that those that were accompanying him also perished him. The party will issue a full statement in due course,” Qoboshiyane said.
Tantsi’s death comes three days after he appeared in the Butterworth Magistrate’s Court to answer to charges of fraud and money laundering. He was due to appear again on May 8 alongside his co-accused Butterworth businessman Sive Nombembe of Big Event Boy (Pty) Ltd.
The two men were arrested last month by members of a Hawks tast team formed to investigate corruption in Eastern Cape municipalities. Tantsi and Nombembe are facing charges of fraud and corruption in relation to a R10-million black plastic bags tender Mnquma issued two years ago to Nombembe’s company.
It is alleged that more than R2-million of that money was used in the form of kickbacks.