Mandozanow turns to spin doctors

Siyabonga Africa

Siyabonga Africa

The Mandoza saga took a new twist yesterday with the Kwaito star appointing a Johannesburg communications company to handle the media on his behalf.

In a statement released by The Media Specialists, Mandoza expressed his "sincere condolences" to the families of Felix Thebe and Charles Shabalala.

"I am deeply distressed about this terrible tragedy and the fact that two young men have lost their lives as a result of the accident," said Mandoza.

The statement also urged members of the public to cooperate with the Gauteng metro police in their investigations.

Inspector Edna Mamonyane, of the Johannesburg metro police department (JMPD), disputed reports that they had made a formal request to the public for witnesses to attest to claims that Mandoza was drunk.

She said: "We would like those who say they saw Mandoza drinking at The Mzansi Awards to come and submit a statement."

Mandoza, real name Mduduzi Tshabalala, was involved in a car accident along the N1 north at the 14th Avenue offramp.

He was driving his SRT Chrysler when he crashed into the back of a VW Jetta that was carrying Thebe and Shabalala. Both passengers of the Jetta were pronounced dead on the scene.

Mamonyane said that the JMPD officers who had arrived at the scene could not give Mandoza a breathalyser test because he was already in an ambulance and paramedics had already put him on a drip.

"The officer who approached him couldn't smell any alcohol on him... he could have had anything in his system, we don't deny that.

"But he was already in the ambulance and the officers could not stop it from leaving," Mamonyane said.

She said the state police were probing the case and that the findings would be known by tomorrow or Friday.

Mandoza's wife, Mpho, was yesterday still refusing to reveal the identity of the mystery caller who informed her of the accident in the early hours of Saturday.