South Africa


Mourners gather after Free State Education MEC and bodyguard killed in car crash

Mourners gather after Free State Education MEC and bodyguard killed in car crash
Free State Education MEC Tate Makgoe. (Photo: Supplied)

Mourners  on Sunday streamed into the family home of Free State Education MEC Tate Makgoe to convey their condolences after news spread that the MEC and a bodyguard had died in a car crash. 

Announcing the death of MEC Tate Makgoe, Free State premier Mxolisi Dukwana said the accident happened on the N1 near Winburg. One of his bodyguards, Vuyo Mdi, also died in the crash. 

Dukwana said Makgoe was on his way back from a meeting in Johannesburg. He was due to address a church service in Heidedal, Bloemfontein and opted to drive back in the night.

The vehicle in which he was travelling collided with a number of cows crossing the national road. 

Addressing the media at Makgoe’s house in Universitas, Bloemfontein, Dukwana said when the Free State Emergency Services arrived on the scene all three occupants – the MEC and his two bodyguards – were trapped in the wreck. The jaws of life were used to free them. Makgoe and Mdi were declared dead on the scene. 

The other bodyguard, Pule Nkopane, was admitted to hospital and is in a critical condition.

The horror crash just outside Winburg on the N1 in which Free State Education MEC Tate Makgoe and bodyguard Vuyo Mdi, died early Sunday morning. (Photo: Supplied)

Expressing condolences to Makgoe’s family, Dukwana said Makgoe was the longest serving MEC in the province. He was an MEC since 1994 and served the people of the province in various capacities. 

Dukwana and several senior government officials visited the accident scene and then he other MECs are proceeded to Mdi’s family home and the hospital to visit Nkopane.

Authorities at the scene of the crash outside Winburg in which Free State Education MEC Tate Makgoe and bodyguard Vuyo Mdi, died early on Sunday morning. (Photo: Supplied)

Visit Daily Maverick’s home page for more news, analysis and investigations

Early on Sunday morning, mourners streamed to Makgoe’s family home to convey their condolences. The Makgoe family did not come out during a media address by Dukwane, where the media was requested to allow the family to come to terms with the MEC’s death and have an undisturbed mourning period.  

In a statement by the presidency, Cyril Ramaphosa said he was deeply saddened by the deaths. “The President’s thoughts are with the families, friends and colleagues of the MEC and his protector and we wish the surviving driver a speedy and full recovery.”

Makgoe, who hails from Parys in the Free State, led the Free State as number one in the country with its matric results, for several consecutive years

Read more in Daily Maverick here: Free State – we’re simply the best

He also served as a member of the provincial cabinet in various capacities – including tourism, finance and in education. 

He was very popular for his success with the final results in the secondary  and primary school sector. 

The University of Free State issued a statement of condolences with Prof Francis Petersen, Rector and Vice-Chancellor,  expressing shocked and sadness to learn of the tragic accident. Makgoe was a UFS Council member as representative of the Free State Premier for two terms, from 1 November 2010 to 31 December 2018. He was also a member of the Executive Committee of Council in his second term.

“MEC Makgoe had a strong relationship with the UFS, which saw him collaborating on numerous projects, including the Internet Broadcast Project from 2012 to 2022, which was aimed at supporting Grade 12 learners and teachers,” said the statement.

“Through continued collaboration and under his leadership, the Free State reclaimed its top spot in the National Senior Certificate examination results in 2019 and has maintained it to date. “This would not have been possible without the leadership of MEC Makgoe; we salute him for the significant role he played, and for his contribution to the success of the province over the past few years,” said Prof Petersen.

Dukwane said the Free State executive council would engage with the presidency this week in connection with funeral arrangements. DM


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • William Dryden says:

    With no disrespects to the Minister and his bodyguards, judging by the state of the vehicle it must have been travelling at some speed.

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted


This article is free to read.

Sign up for free or sign in to continue reading.

Unlike our competitors, we don’t force you to pay to read the news but we do need your email address to make your experience better.

Nearly there! Create a password to finish signing up with us:

Please enter your password or get a sign in link if you’ve forgotten

Open Sesame! Thanks for signing up.

We would like our readers to start paying for Daily Maverick...

…but we are not going to force you to. Over 10 million users come to us each month for the news. We have not put it behind a paywall because the truth should not be a luxury.

Instead we ask our readers who can afford to contribute, even a small amount each month, to do so.

If you appreciate it and want to see us keep going then please consider contributing whatever you can.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options