Warrant Officer Thomas Shongwe has been identified as the member who sadly died in the motorcade crash in which one of the vehicles forming part of Deputy President David Mabuza’s convoy overturned in Mpumalanga on 20 November 2022.
While traveling between Mpumalanga and Gauteng, one of the backup vehicles for Deputy President, David Mabuza’s motorcade suffered a burst tyre, causing the vehicle to roll over.
A dedicated public servant
Shongwe was 56-years-old when the motorcade crash took his life. Born in Nelspruit, he had 31 years of uninterrupted service after joining the orginisation in 1991 as a student constable.
From 1994 to 2018, Shongwe was responsible for rendering protection services to the office of the Premier in Mpumalanga. He later joined the Protection Security Services (PSS) where he served as an in-transit VIP protector, where he served as a close protector for the Deputy President Mabuza.
The two other occupants that were in the same vehicle as Warrant Officer Shongwe at the time of the motorcade crash include a 50-year-old captain, who is still in critical condition in hospital, and a 44-year-old warrant officer who has since been discharged.
Investigation underway to determine circumstances surrounding the motorcade crash
The National Commissioner of the SAPS, General Fannie Masemola said that an investigation is underway to determine the circumstances surrounding the cause of the motorcade crash.
In-house Employee Health and Wellness (EHW) professionals consisting of Chaplains, Psychologists and Social Workers continue to provide spiritual and psychosocial support to the families and colleagues of the three members attached to the (PPS) who were involved in the motorcade crash.
General Masemola has sent his condolences to the family and loved ones of Shongwe, and wished the injured members a speedy recovery.
“The death of the member is not only a great loss to the organization but also the community at large. He has been described by his immediate commanders as a quiet, punctual, committed and disciplined member who served his country with distinction. On behalf of the SAPS management, we offer our condolences to his family and loved ones and also wish the injured members a speedy recovery”, said General Masemola.
“To Warrant Officer Shongwe, the SAPS flag doesn’t move because the wind blows, it moves because of the last breath of every officer who died defending it.” – a statement by the SAPS read.
Shongwe is survived by his wife and three children.