Presenter, actor and producer Akhumzi Jezile, actor Thobani Mseleni, as well as singer and actress Siyasanga Kobese all died in a crash along the N6 near Queenstown. Two other people died in the same accident, but their identities have not yet been publicly revealed.
The three actors who died in an Eastern Cape car accident were ‘lodestars’ guiding South African arts, said Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa on Sunday.
“Death has robbed our nation of three of its versatile and glittering lodestars,” Mthethwa said in a statement reacting to the news of the death of the three named victims.
“The nation has been dealt a triple and breathtaking blow that has sent a wave of grief throughout South Africa.
“Death has been particularly unkind and jealous,” he added.
Presenter, actor and producer Akhumzi Jezile, actor Thobani Mseleni, as well as singer and actress Siyasanga Kobese all died in a crash along the N6 near Queenstown early on Saturday morning.
Two other people died in the same accident, but their identities have not yet been publicly revealed.
Describing 29-year-old Mthatha-born Jezile as “a star who grew up in front of the nation’s eyes as a presenter on YoTV,” Mthethwa celebrated the acknowledgement Jezile got when winning a SAFTA Award in 2014 for his role in Tempy Pushas .
He said Thobani Mseleni, 30, had patiently paid his dues in the TV and film industry before getting his “big break” by being introduced to South African audiences through roles like that of ‘Bhonyongo’ in the drama series Matatiele and recently as ‘Babalo’ in the award-winning movie Inxeba: The Wound .
The minister described Siyasanga Kobese as “gifted”, noting her role on the TV series Zabalaza.
“We remember her most vividly as someone who wowed audiences nationwide as a lead singer of Joyous Celebration.”
“All three were young, brilliant shining stars from whom we’d have undoubtedly derived joy and delight from their long careers and lives,” he concluded, in also extending his condolences.
Communications Minister Nomvula Mokonyane, in a separate statement, also expressed grief over the loss of lives.
“South Africa continues to lose precious gems on our roads and we urge everyone to be extra vigilant,” she said.
Referring to Jezile, Mokonyane said: “In his short-lived life, Akhumzi contributed to the entertainment industry what many could only achieve over decades.”
She said “his energy lit up any room he entered”.
Meanwhile, the National Freedom Party issued a statement describing Jezile as “one of the nicest guys, and one of the coolest brothers”.
According to police spokesperson Captain Namhla Mdleleni, a case of culpable homicide has been opened in relation to the accident.