Minister Obed Bapela recovering after car crash

Minister Obed Bapela recovering after car crash

Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Deputy Minister Obed Bapela is recovering well in hospital after a car crash on the night of February 26, the ministry said on Sunday.

Obed Bapela

“The deputy minister has been in hospital for a week now and for the first time today [Sunday] he is able to breathe without the aid of an external oxygen support system,” the ministry said in a statement.

Doctors had kept him in hospital because his fractured ribs made it difficult for him to breathe without the support of oxygen.

“The doctors were worried about his lungs, that they were not getting enough oxygen; since he has taken physiotherapy classes his condition has greatly improved,” the ministry said.

Bapela and his driver were injured when their car collided with a truck on the N12 near Fochville, Gauteng. Bapela’s driver was reportedly in a stable condition.

At the time, paramedics said the accident happened when a truck allegedly veered into their lane.

“The driver of the SUV explained that he swerved in order to avoid a head-on collision and the truck collided with the side of the SUV sending it off the road into… veld next to the road. The impact ripped one of the SUV’s rear doors off,” ER24 spokesman Werner Vermaak said then.

The truck driver has reportedly been arrested and charged with drunk and negligent driving.

On Sunday, the ministry quoted Bapela as having said: “The driver of the truck that caused the car crash should never be allowed to drive again; he belongs in jail and our roads would be safe again.”

Bapela celebrated his birthday in hospital on Sunday in the presence of his wife.

“The family takes this time to thank his colleagues for the support and messages of encouragement from across the ruling party, business, and traditional leaders,” the ministry said.

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