By Frederick Philander WINDHOEK The Minister of Works, Transport and Communication and his official driver late yesterday afternoon narrowly escaped death in a car accident 70 km from the capital on the main road to Gobabis. Minister Joel Kaapanda was on his way to the Omaheke Region on government business when the driver of the big American Chevrolet lost control of the vehicle due to a lot of rain water on the road surface. “We have been very lucky to have come out of the car unscathed,” Minister Kaapanda told New Era minutes after the accident, on his mobile phone. A second private car also skidded off the same spot shortly after the minister’s vehicle overturned and rolled a number of times before it came to a standstill. “There was a lot of water on the road due to the heavy rains in the area. Hans, the driver of the government vehicle, desperately applied breaks at a specific spot in the road to try and avoid the car slamming into the pool of water on the tarred road. I am surprised that we survived the accident. Luckily, we both wore our seatbelts at the time,” the minister recalled, still half-winded because of the freak accident. The second car that also overturned belonged to Charles Tjijenda, the Director of Administration and Auxiliary Services at the Hardap Regional Council. Tjijenda lives in Mariental. He was not hurt. “Right now, I am all covered in dirty brown mud because of the car overturning with slush that streamed into the overturned car. The Namibian police from Windhoek are presently on the scene and we are waiting for a government car to take us back home in the capital. We’ll both go for a medical check up once we get home,” the minister said. Kaapanda was on his way to the Omaheke Regional Council at Gobabis to discuss a public auction at which disused and broken government furniture is to be sold and, ironically, old car wrecks be removed from the Omaheke landscape, as part of his ministry’s national “Operation Clean Up” campaign that was last year endorsed by the National Assembly.
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