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One of the two men - a manager at a top hotel in Rosebank, Johannesburg - who died in the collision with a car driven by kwaito star Mendoza was yesterday described as "a pillar of the family".
Felix Thebe and colleague at the Grace Hotel, Charles Shabalala, were travelling home from a function when the crash occurred on the M1 highway near the 14th Avenue off-ramp in Johannesburg early Saturday morning.
Speaking from Thebe's flat in Berea, Johannesburg, his aunt Princess Khumalo said: "Life will never be the same. I can't describe to you how I feel now because we really expected so much from him."
She said the single Thebe, 38, was well-mannered, a pride of the family, and good friends with Shabalala, who was driving the VW Jetta.
Another relative, who did not want to be named, said when they did not hear from Thebe they tried calling his cellphone several times. They began a desperate search at hospitals and police stations.
"After we had been to Rosebank and Johannesburg police stations, we got a call from one of Charles' relatives because they were looking for him too. He told us to look out for a message from the Roodepoort police. They told us to come and identify a body at the Roodepoort mortuary."
Thebe's family had just begun making funeral arrangements when they spoke to Sowetan.
Inspector Edna Mamonyane of the Johannesburg Metro Police Department said Shabalala's wife would not speak to the media at present.
Meanwhile, Mandoza's wife, Mpho, was surprised to learn that the two dead men had been identified by their families.
"We are still waiting for a call from the police and Mandoza doesn't want to talk to the media at this moment," she said.
Asked about the mystery caller who informed her about the accident, she said: "It was actually an old man who had gotten my number the evening of The Mzansi Awards."
This man was not available for comment.
Mandoza, real name, Mduduzi Tshabalala, is being probed for culpable homicide.